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Survey Says: Employers Have Heightened Concern With Sexual Harassment in 2018

Sexual harassment policies and training will remain a concern to many employers in 2018, according to a recent XpertHR survey. The survey revealed that employers plan to tackle the issue in a variety of ways, including:

The Rise of Love Contracts: Workplace Relationships in a Post #MeToo Era

Steve Loewengart authored the article “The Rise of Love Contracts: Workplace Relationships in a Post #MeToo Era” featured in Ohio Matters Magazine. In a post #MeToo era it has become necessary for employers to establish and promote clear policies on office romances.

Faragher/Ellerth Defense Not Enough To Save Connecticut Hospital

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently upheld a $125,000 award against the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC), holding the Center responsible for an employee’s sexual harassment of a coworker.

Harassment by Emojis: Leaving Employers at a Loss for Words

As many employers are attempting to navigate the #MeToo movement and cultural changes surrounding sexual harassment claims, they now face another legal issue on the harassment horizon: how to address harassment allegations involving wordless communications—namely, emojis. Workplace harassment claims regarding emojis are increasing at a significant rate and leaving employers scratching their heads.

Mavericks Fire HR Director for Failing to Rein in Hostile Work Environment

The Dallas Mavericks basketball team fired its head of human resources in the wake of a Sports Illustrated report detailing a hostile work environment. The report cited numerous complaints by current and former staff members, both male and female, of a sexually hostile work culture in the organization's front office. Employees pointed to the team's HR department as part of the problem.

Dear Littler: Can I Immediately Fire a VP Based on Sexual Harassment Allegations?

Dear Littler: I am a senior HR manager at a mid-sized company. One of our female team members just reported her manager, a vice president, for inappropriate conduct. She claims that what started out as mild flirtation on his part has progressed to outright sexual solicitation and unwelcome physical contact. Our company just can’t accept this kind of behavior. Can I go ahead and terminate him immediately?

HR Intel: Sexual Harassment 2.0 – Now Comes the Harder Part

The fall of 2017 may forever be remembered for launching the #metoo movement as bombshell sexual harassment claims against big names arose seemingly every other day.

States Ask Congress To Prohibit Arbitration In Sex Harassment Claims

A unanimous block of attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, not to mention several U.S. territories, sent a letter to Congress yesterday asking federal lawmakers to prohibit the use of mandatory arbitration agreements when it comes to claims of sexual harassment. If Congress responds by passing legislation as requested, employers would need to adjust to a new reality that would have significant implications on human resources practices and employment litigation.

A New Valentine’s Day Conundrum for Employers: Could Emoji Messages Amount to Harassment in the #MeToo Era?

It’s Valentine’s Day yet again, but this year the climate is different for employers. Between the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and the near-daily collapse of famous and powerful men (and some women) due to allegations of sexual harassment, employers are on high alert for any sign that sexual misconduct could be going on underneath their noses. While the holiday season usually brings the most challenges for human resources professionals trying to ensure holiday parties do not get out of hand and religious accommodation issues are properly handled, another holiday causes heartburn for many: Valentine’s Day.

Love Contracts and Policies on Office Romance: What Can an Employer Do if Love is in the Air?

February is often called the “month of love,” and for employers, it may be an appropriate time to consider how to address issues surrounding workplace romance. Regardless of whether employers approve, it is likely inevitable that, at some point, the love bug will bite at work. According to a 2017 survey by CareerBuilder, 41 percent of employees said they had dated a work colleague within the prior year. Another study, by the University of Chicago, revealed that nearly 22 percent of U.S. married couples met at work. But because not every office romance results in wedding bells or fairy tale endings, such relationships create the potential for workplace conflicts, allegations of sexual harassment or retaliation and even litigation. Employers have several options for addressing possible problems in order to avoid legal headaches.