With long-standing issues like sexual harassment and gender pay inequality finally bubbling to the surface in the form of movements like #MeToo, Time’s Up, and others, it is more crucial than ever for companies to stay current on shifts in legislation, standards, and even public sentiment. Recently, a number of legislative actions have been taken in the name of workplace culture and equality.
Perhaps the most sweeping was the passage of the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, a package of bills amending the New York City Human Rights Law and the New York City Charter. The act requires annual sexual harassment training for any private company with 15 employees or more, including management. The NYC Commission on Human Rights is tasked with creating the online, publicly-available training, which promises to be much more comprehensive than the traditional videos or slideshow presentations. Research has actually shown that older methods for employee sexual harassment training serve more to simply protect a company’s legal liability rather than to educate, and can even have adverse effects on some employees.
We recently held a conversation with Kevin Wicka, an employment attorney for The Tarantino Law Firm in Buffalo, N.Y. about sexual harassment in the workplace - including how employers can handle situations, protect themselves from liability and even attempt to prevent it in the workplace. You can watch the video below or click here to read the transcript from the conversation.