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Posts tagged "sexual harassment".
Fourth Circuit Adopts Expansive View of Same-Sex Harassment

A recent decision of a panel of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals offers an important reminder for employers: There is potential legal risk in ignoring or brushing off an employee who comes forward with complaints of sexual harassment by a supervisor -- even when the employee and supervisor are both of the same sex. Glenn Industrial Group, Inc., a North Carolina-based provider of underwater inspection and repair services to utility companies learned that lesson last week.

March 16, 2018
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Topics Employment
5 Steps an Employer Can Take to Limit Liability for Sexual Harassment

A previous blog post discussed sexual harassment in the workplace. This post discusses steps that an employer can take to avoid liability for sexual harassment, or at least minimize legal exposure.

1. Have a Sexual Harassment Policy

An employer should have a clearly articulated sexual harassment policy that:

  • expressly prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace;
  • defines and provides examples of sexual harassment;
  • establishes the scope of the policy in relation to employees and third parties; and
  • establishes a complaint procedure for victims or observers of sexual harassment. 
What Is Sexual Harassment?

Recently, the #MeToo movement has cast a spotlight on sexual harassment in the workplace. Despite the media focus on sexual harassment, there still seems to be a fair amount of confusion about what is and is not sexual harassment.

Simply put, sexual harassment is harassment based on an individual’s sex. For legal purposes, sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, written or physical conduct of a sexual nature that:

  1. affects an individual’s employment,
  2. unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or
  3. creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.