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Avoiding Sexual & Other Unlawful Harassment in the Workplace

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Michigan Chamber of Commerce
January 9, 2018


It seems like a new story hits about a powerful Hollywood producer, well known politician, or high level executive is the headlines every day. But sexual harassment is not limited to big companies and stars.

Not only is harassment illegal, failing to identify unlawful harassment can come with a steep price tag. Earlier this year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that almost 27,000 complaints of sex harassment or discrimination were filed in fiscal year 2016. The same EEOC report announced the federal agency secured more than $482 million for victims of discrimination, including harassment in private, federal and state and local government workplaces. This does not even include the amount secured in private lawsuits brought in courts or confidential settlements reached outside of the EEOC and courts.

In addition to sexual harassment and harassment based on sex, employers are prohibited from discriminating upon or engaging in harassment of employees based on a number of protected classifications.

While managers and supervisors may believe only their company is responsible, they may be surprised that under some circumstances individuals can be held personally liable as well. The best way to avoid having the government investigate your work place or employees filing lawsuits is to understand what exactly unlawful harassment and discrimination is. Many employers are surprised they do not understand and what steps to take to determine if there these activities are going on, until it's too late. Join us on January 9, 2017 to discussing how to spot and identify potentially unlawful harassment and discrimination in the workplace.


State and federal law prohibit discrimination based on protected classifications and as well as unlawful harassment. However, many employers who can identify potentially unlawful behavior is occurring still grapple with how to respond to allegations of unlawful conduct.

Many employers are still uncertain how to conduct an investigation. They wonder how to deal with a reluctant witness or potential victim of harassment. But a thorough review of the law and the requirements can provide employers with successful tools to assess discipline, create effective work rules and train managers on how to resolve issues before they go to far.

Many employers forget that managers speak for the employer and their actions and conduct can bind an employer. Because of this, they must be properly trained to identify, report, and timely react to potentially unlawful conduct. The law not only requires prompt remedial action to deter future unlawful conduct, it also requires employers to protect employees from retaliation for making a report of harassment or discrimination. That holds true even if the employer cannot confirm the complaint.

Join us on February 13, 2017 as we discuss how to handle allegations of harassment. We will discuss policy and training, reporting mechanisms, how and when to respond, and how to appropriately respond and discipline when allegations of harassment arise.

See for more on the event.