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Harvey Weinstein’s conviction last month on charges of rape and criminal sexual assault is a pivotal event in the #MeToo movement. For employers, the Hollywood producer’s verdict should serve as a reminder of the importance of preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

Although sexual harassment training is not required under federal law, many states – including North Carolina – have enacted legislation that makes the training compulsory. In Massachusetts, the training isn’t mandated, but is recommended.

Even if it isn’t a state requirement, the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions in the 1998 Faragher and Ellerth sexual harassment cases, subsequent court decisions, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines make it clear that sexual harassment training is essential.

As a Human Resources consultant, I work with my clients to implement sexual harassment training in their companies. Here are some highlights of my advice to employers on their training sessions.

The purpose of the training is for employers to educate their employees about:

  • What sexual harassment is
  • Why it is important to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace
  • The company’s policy and procedures concerning sexual harassment
  • Management and staff responsibilities.

Sexual harassment includes:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances.
  • A request for sexual favors.
  • Verbal, written, electronic or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with his or her work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

Why should employers train their managers and staff?

  • Sexual harassment harms us all.
  • The most important part of our corporate values is to ensure all employees are treated with respect and dignity.
  • Engaging in, condoning or not reporting sexual harassment is in direct conflict with our values.
  • We want to remain in compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits sex discrimination (including gender identity, change of sex and/or transgender status).
  • We want to remain in compliance with similar state civil rights laws and fair employment laws.

Managers’ and staff members’ responsibilities include:

  • Knowing and complying with the company’s policy and procedures.
  • Reporting incidents that they experience directly or witness.
  • Cooperating with investigations.
  • Supporting victims.

After Weinstein’s mid-March sentencing, I wonder what changes his conviction eventually may bring to the workplace.

In the meantime, if you need help starting or improving sexual harassment training at your company, contact me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.

 50+ Job Seekers Networking meetings

 The 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group will meet in March and April. Here are the dates and topics for each of the three locations:

 Worcester Senior Center, 128 Providence St., meets from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays:

  • March 11, LinkedIn for Networking
  • March 25, Interviewing
  • April 8, Networking
  • April 22, Volunteering

Auburn Public Library, 369 Southbridge St., meets from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Fridays:

  • March 13, LinkedIn for Networking
  • March 27, Interviewing
  • April 10, Networking

Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., meets from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays:

  • March 24, LinkedIn & Networking
  • April 7, Volunteering & Fair Prep

A Career Fair will be held at the Northampton Senior Center Tuesday, May 5.

For more information and to pre-register for a 50+ Job Seekers meeting, go to www.mcoaonline.com/50plus.

If you’re an employer who is interested in hiring a mature worker, or a mature worker who would like to join the networking group, email me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.

Save the date: Aug. 5 Job Fair

I’m very excited to announce my plans for a Job Fair for workers age 50 and older Aug. 5. The job fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center in Worcester. I’ll include more details in upcoming blogs.

On the Radio

Tune in to hear me on Unity Radio 97.9 FM from noon to 1 p.m. March 13 and 20.  I will be filling in for Cami Baker on her show, “Fabulous, Fierce and on Fire Fridays with Friends.”

If you have questions about Human Resources, contact me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.

AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS

Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)
PARWCC The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches Woman in Business (WIB)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
BNI Referral Champions Worcester Chapter
BNI Referral Champions Worcester Chapter
Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce Central South Mass (CCSM)
50+ Job Seekers
Massachusetts Councils on Aging (MCOA)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) of Central Massachusetts
Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) of Central Massachusetts
Women's Information Network (WIN)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

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Melody L. Beach Consulting Group, Human Resources, Southbridge, MA