Employers subject to the City of Chicago’s Sexual Harassment Ordinance must comply with the updated training requirements by June 30th or risk penalty. As we previously advised, the amended Chicago Human Rights Ordinance requires all employers with at least one employee working within the geographical boundaries of the City of Chicago to provide the following annual training:
Organizations that successfully create an inclusive and positive culture understand that all of its people have an important role to play in maintaining a harassment-free workplace. Any incident of harassment can affect more than just the parties directly involved, and all employees are responsible for helping to maintain a working environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, and other inappropriate conduct.
Ensuring that employees understand their role as bystanders to potential incidents is vital to creating a safe and inclusive culture, and in some jurisdictions, providing such training is mandatory.
This post will explain what it means to be a “bystander” and review three key reasons why bystander intervention training can help your organization prevent workplace harassment.
What Is a Bystander?
Whenever a potentially inappropriate interaction between two individuals occurs, any third party who either directly witnesses the behavior or learns of it later becomes a “bystander”—that is, not a target or an offender, but a witness, whether direct or indirect. For example, someone who overhears inappropriately gratuitous commentary directed at a co-worker in an adjoining office could be a direct witness. An indirect witness might be a colleague in whom someone who is feeling harassed confides that they are feeling uncomfortable with a co-worker’s remarks or actions.
Organizations everywhere have recognized the importance of eliminating workplace harassment. From decreased productivity to higher turnover, the impact of workplace harassment can be monumental and even shake an entire business to its core. It is critical that your organization take the right steps to eliminate workplace harassment. Let’s take a look at three common mistakes organizations make in their harassment prevention initiatives.
1. Inadequate Training
If harassment prevention training is lackluster or not administered properly, its impact will be minuscule. Employees should receive regular, updated training to stay informed of harassment laws and policies in their jurisdiction and in their particular workplace. In many jurisdictions, annual training is required, but even where it is not, it is critical that your organization be proactive and continue to train its employees in order to realize the full benefits.
Our colleagues Frances L. Kenajian and Nathaniel M. Glasser at Epstein Becker Green has a post on the Technology Employment Law Blog that will be of interest to our readers in the retail industry: "Summer Networking Events: Workplace Harassment Can Happen Outside the Workplace."
Following is an excerpt:
Under federal law, as well as the law of many states, cities, and municipalities, sexual harassment is considered a type of prohibited gender discrimination. New York City and New York State now require employers to provide their employees with anti-sexual ...
With warmer weather quickly approaching, many employers are beginning to schedule happy hours, parties, softball games, and other off-site events that employees (and interns) look forward to attending. However, at offsite work events, employees might forget—or might not realize in the first place—that they are still in a workplace setting. This could result in unwelcome behavior, such as sexual harassment, which could leave an employer open to liability.
Under federal law, as well as the law of many states, cities, and municipalities, sexual harassment is considered a type ...
Don’t forget – April 1 marks the beginning of a new set of sexual harassment training requirements in New York City. While the training requirement began across New York State on October 9, 2018 (and must be completed by October 9, 2019), the City imposes additional requirements on certain employers. Both laws require training to be provided on an annual basis.
While the State law requires training of all New York employees, regardless of the number of employees in the State, the City law applies only to employers with 15 or more employees. However, when counting employees ...
On March 6, 2019, the 20-year business partnership between celebrity chef Mario Batali and the Bastianich family of restaurateurs, Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, was formally dissolved following allegations by several women more than a year ago that he sexually assaulted and harassed them at his restaurants years earlier. Tanya Bastianich Manueli and her brother Joe Bastianich have bought all of Mr. Batali’s shares in the restaurants. As a result, Mr. Batali has been fully divested and will no longer profit from his former restaurant group, and his name already has been ...
In the New Year, two states – New Jersey and Illinois – have proposed legislation requiring restaurants to adopt a sexual harassment training policy and provide anti-sexual harassment training to employees. While it remains to be seen whether these bills will become law, attempts to target and reform working conditions in the hospitality industry are nonetheless noteworthy, particularly given that unlike New York and California, neither New Jersey nor Illinois have enacted broad legislation requiring private sector employers, regardless of occupation, to provide sexual ...
There is a visceral and palpable dynamic emerging in global workplaces: tension.
Tension between what is potentially knowable—and what is actually known. Tension between the present and the future state of work. Tension between what was, is, and what might become (and when). Tension between the nature, function, and limits of data and technology.
The present-future of work is being shaped daily, dynamically, and profoundly by a host of factors—led by the exponential proliferation of data, new technologies, and artificial intelligence (“AI”)—whose impact cannot be understated. Modern employers have access to an unprecedented amount of data impacting their workforce, from data concerning the trends and patterns in employee behaviors and data concerning the people analytics used in hiring, compensation, and employee benefits, to data that analyzes the composition of the employee workforce itself. To be sure, AI will continue to disrupt how virtually every employer views its human capital model on an enterprise basis. On a micro level, employers are already analyzing which functions or groups of roles might be automated, augmented, or better aligned to meet their future business models.
And, yet, there is an equal, counterbalancing force at play—the increased demand for accountability, transparency, civility, and equity. We have already seen this force playing out in real time, most notably in the #MeToo, pay equity, and data privacy and security movements. We expect that these movements and trends will continue to gain traction and momentum in litigation, regulation, and international conversation into 2019 and beyond.
We have invited Epstein Becker Green attorneys from our Technology, Media & Telecommunications (“TMT”) service team to reflect and opine on the most significant developments of the year. In each, we endeavor to provide practical insights to enable employers to think strategically through these emergent tensions and business realities—to continue to deliver value to their organizations and safeguard their goodwill and reputation.
- Podcast: Latest Developments – Restrictive Covenants in the Health Care Industry – Employment Law This Week
- San Francisco Releases Generative AI Guidelines for City Workers
- Video: SECURE 2.0 Act - Navigating New Retirement Plan Provisions in 2024 - Employment Law This Week
- Updated for 2024: Epstein Becker Green’s Free Wage-Hour App
- Video: California’s Non-Compete Notice Deadline Approaches, California Workplace Violence Regulations, Estrada Decision Keeps Door Open for PAGA Challenges - Employment Law This Week