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A new approach to sexual harassment at work

Businesses in Florida and across the country have no doubt been grappling with how best to address the seemingly unending number of sexual misconduct cases that are being reported. The issue of fair treatment and a truly harassment-free workplace is one that spans all companies regardless of industry or size. The existing laws appear to have been ineffective in eliminating the problem and that has made some assert that a new approach is needed when it comes to training on this topic.

The Society for Human Resource Management points out that current training on sexual harassment at work tends to focus on avoiding legal troubles or on how to launch a successful defense to a claim. Educating people about basic compliance is simply not working. Instead, the SHRM recommends new training be developed that puts the company culture and collegial respect at the center of the education.

Business to Community adds that before a new training program is developed, companies should do an internal audit of their culture and their risk factors for harassment. Some things to evaluate might include how much out-of-work socialization happens between co-workers, whether or not cliques are present in the organization, the ratio of male to female employees and how equally rules are applied to all employees.

Training programs may also be split up into different sections that allow proper emphasis on important areas such as bystander responsibilities and actions, respectful workplace behavior, and legal compliance and reporting. Doing this allows a strong focus on the more positive goals for the training.

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