sexual-harassment-and-discrimination-training-in-stark,summit-and-surrounding-countiesSexual Harassment in 2017

As many of us are aware, the year 2017 was a watershed moment in the United States regarding the reporting/publicizing of allegations of sexual misconduct in popular culture in a number of industries, including the entertainment industry, politics and business. There is no evidence that the incidence of sexual misconduct has all of a sudden increased, it is the simple fact that individuals are the victims of sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment in the workplace and are more likely to “speak up” and report their allegations of wrongdoing.

Whether it is the #MeToo movement on social media, or other individuals asserting allegations of wrongdoing against those in popular culture, it is important for every organization to realize the impact our culture has on our employees and how it changes the perceptions of what is “right” or “wrong.” Maybe a few years ago an employee who “spoke up” and reported allegations of sexual harassment would be looked at by their co-workers as a “trouble maker” or they would be too ashamed and/or shy to make a report of inappropriate sexual misconduct.  Today, that same individual may be viewed as courageous by their peers and feel more empowered to “stand-up” for what is right and be far more likely to make a complaint of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct.

More than ever, an organization’s response is critical to a complaint of sexual harassment, especially when it is viewed under the lens of whether such response is prompt and reasonably likely to prevent any future inappropriate sexual behavior.  Likewise, an organization’s perceived failure to take prompt corrective action reasonably calculated to prevent the reoccurrence of sexual harassment may be a critical issue in a sexual harassment jury trial, especially given the fact that a jury is a reflection of our society and the changing attitudes towards individuals engaging in inappropriate sexual harassment.  Any organization should be concerned when it sees famous individuals in mainstream media being ostracized for sexually inappropriate behavior and how a jury may choose to levy justice on an individual employed by a company engaging in similar behavior. When it comes to addressing allegations of sexual harassment, the most important thing any organization can do is be proactive and prevent it from happening by tailoring an annual sexual harassment program that fits the organization’s needs.

Should an organization find itself in a situation where there are allegations of sexual harassment against an employee or member of management and wants to retain their employment despite the allegations of wrongdoing, it is difficult to envision a scenario where one-on-one sexual harassment training would not be a prerequisite to continued employment minimizing the risk of any future successful litigation.

Determining What Is Right For Your Company

The best way to determine what training may be appropriate for your company, the time the training will take, how your state laws may affect the type of training and any other questions you may have is to contact Attorney Collum directly, at (330) 494-4877 or by e-mail at


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