The recent flood of sexual harassment allegations in the workplace suggests that there are far too many companies that do not have an effective sexual harassment compliance programme. Even before the current highly publicised cases of sexual harassment and the resulting increased focus on this issue, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) concluded, in a 2016 study, that many workplace anti-harassment policies and training, along with employer practices, have not been sufficient to address this issue.

A review of best compliance practices, court decisions and the EEOC’s proposed guidance on harassment in the workplace provide a roadmap towards an effective workplace sexual harassment compliance programme. Such a programme contains the following essential components: (i) executive management and board leadership; (ii) empowered human resources professionals; (iii) accountability; (iv) appropriate policies and training; and (v) frequent and substantive dialogue about the issue.

Jan-Mar 2018 Issue

McDermott Will & Emery LLP