Proskauer released a survey of businesses on responses in the #MeToo era, and a few things stick out to me. First, live (and quality) training for your workforce gets a real bang for the buck. Second, I'm disappointed to see how few businesses are using bystander intervention in their trainings. Your workshops need to be about culture, not about the law. Learn more about the report and get a copy here.
In guidance announced today, the New York City Commission on Human Rights makes it clear: bias against natural black hair is a form of race discrimination. Employers need to review their appearance requirements and their workplace culture. I wrote a summary of the new guidance, which you can find here.
There’s a fascinating story in The Intercept about EPLI - the insurance coverage that businesses take out in case of employment lawsuits. According to this piece, nearly a third of insurance companies polled won't underwrite the legal industry. A quarter won't underwrite financial firms. Nearly as many won’t cover the entertainment industry. When that’s happening, it's a good time to look at organizational culture and what prevents harassment and discrimination in the first place.
When setting premiums (or deciding whether not to cover at all), underwriters look for details about what structures businesses have in place to address complaints of harassment and discrimination, and some go further. “One insurer wanted a list of all incidents, including ones that have not triggered a formal complaint, with the name of the claimant, the allegations made, the settlement amount any complainant received, and what remedial actions were taken.” Unlike other features of the financial industry, harassment may be a situation where past performance is an indicator of future results. At least it sounds like that’s what the insurance companies think.
A story making the rounds about an awful job interview that took place at a tech company earlier this year is a great reminder of why I focus on building a workplace culture of respect in anti-harassment workshops: where there's incivility, you can expect harassment to follow. And one study found where people experience incivility, 48% intentionally decreased their work effort.
I recently wrote a short piece here about a lawsuit filed this week, alleging the long term failure of the NYPD to adequately address sexual assault complaints. We know that the act of reporting sexual assault can itself be traumatizing, and in the situation of the two plaintiffs in this case, excruciating and demoralizing. If we want to see more victims coming forward to report sexual assault, it’s crucial to ensure that the division responsible for investigations knows how to work with victims of sexual assault and has the capacity to handle all forms of the crime – not just stranger rape.
In this #MeToo Roundup, we’re looking at causes and solutions for the Gender Gap, how bystander intervention training prevents harassment, what the costs are to businesses and individuals when sexual harassment happens in the workplace, and the most recent EEOC public hearing on strategies for preventing workplace sexual harassment.
Women in the Workplace 2018 - LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Co. published results of research into the data of 279 companies and surveys of over 64,000 workers on their workplace experiences and came away with recommendations on ending ‘onlyness’ and fostering respectful and inclusive workplace cultures, among other suggestions.
Sexual Harassment and Assault at Work: Understanding the Costs - The Institute for Women’s Policy Research published a report outlining the costs of workplace harassment - both to businesses and to individuals, and looked at which work situations present an increased risk of sexual harassment and assault.
EEOC Hearing on Sexual Harassment Prevention Strategies - Boards holding executives responsible for preventing harassment. Harassment prevention trainings created by and for women working in maintenance in California, and the grassroots efforts they started. How building respectful workplaces cuts back harassment. The EEOC does exemplary work highlighting how we can create real change in American workplaces. This is one public hearing you don’t want to miss. (And for more, this page has links to the written testimony of the presenters).
To Combat Harassment, More Companies Should Try Bystander Training - Brigid Schulte in HBR writes about bystander training and how it gives people the tools to speak up when they see inappropriate behavior, resets norms within a workplace about what’s acceptable and what’s not, and creates shared expectations for behavior. It’s a big change from the ‘awareness and analysis’ types of harassment training that clearly haven’t worked.
The numbers show why it's worth your time, money, and effort to prevent workplace harassment. Looking at insurance company data on employment lawsuits, there’s a strong case for an ounce of prevention. I’ve written a short assessment of the costs and the benefits of prevention, which you can find here: Brass Tacks: What Are The Costs When A Business Gets Sued for Harassment?
New York recently enacted sweeping legislation with requirements for employers - all employers - in New York State, and the big requirements are starting to take effect. This includes training all employees on how to identify and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, and creating new sexual harassment prevention policies for all employers - by January 1, 2019.Read More
I recently wrote a piece for Fairygodboss, Here's How NY's Historic New Sexual Harassment Laws Will Affect You, about the requirements coming into effect on October 9 for businesses, as well as new protections for workers. I hope you enjoy.
I'm pleased to invite you to a breakfast briefing on September 13 at 9am on preventing workplace harassment. We'll talk about what every small-medium sized business and nonprofit needs - especially if they think they don't have a harassment problem. RSVP on Eventbrite by clicking here, and I encourage you to share with your network.
If you have questions, please reach out, I'm looking forward to hearing from you.