What happens if I don’t offer Sexual Harassment Training to my employees?
Sexual Assault Awareness Month is recognized every April. An important part of preventing sexual harassment is by spreading education on what harassment is and how you can help to stop it. Your workplace can help to prevent sexual harassment by offering training, but not all states require this training. In today’s blog post, we’ll discuss the potential consequences of not offering this crucial training.
Why do you need to offer sexual harassment training to your employees?
Sexual harassment training is something that businesses offer to bring awareness to a complex topic, and unfortunately happens far too often. Sexual harassment or assault in the workplace isn’t just an unwanted touch or a physical action. It exists in emails, phone calls, between employees and managers, and potentially between employees and outside people engaging with the business. Sexual harassment training gives all employees and supervisors the information they need to spot this inappropriate behavior and the tools to handle it.
Offering managers this training is crucial as they work with direct reports day in and day out. And managing people is not just about workload; it also includes making sure employees are comfortable in their workplace to best perform their duties. Offering training to managers gives them the knowledge of how to handle a potential Sexual Harassment case should it arise with a member of their team.
Training provides the proper steps and actions to take, including ensuring that all claims are taken seriously. Without this program, managers may be unsure how to proceed, making them less likely to follow through with the report. After taking sexual harassment training, managers can reassure their employees that action will be taken should an issue arise and help make them feel most comfortable at work.
Is it illegal to not offer sexual harassment training to my employees?
In some states, it’s not an option to skip sexual harassment training as a business owner. In fact, not offering this training to employees can result in hefty fines. While the cost varies by state and business, the price of a training program is far cheaper than the penalties a company could face and the personal liability lawsuits that could follow. And suppose a situation arose for a business owner with one of their employees. In that case, courts tend to favor those businesses that offer sexual harassment training over those that do not. This is because at least the business owner provided the baseline training and made their team aware of the consequences.
What’s the goal of sexual harassment awareness training?
The ultimate end game of offering this training is to eliminate the existence of sexual harassment or assault in the workplace. And by making sure that everyone is aware of what is not okay, you’re setting the stage for an ideal working situation. No one wants to sit in an office where they’re feeling uneasy or threatened. Employees thrive in an environment where they feel comfortable going to work every day. Unhappy employees who do not feel supported by management, especially with training, are more likely to leave their jobs.
Offering sexual harassment awareness training is ethical and mandatory in many places, but it’s the right thing to do no matter where you are. It’s a small gesture that tells your employees you care about them, their safety, and their comfort level at work. It also ensures that your team is working at their optimal level, that no one is in danger, and that you’ve avoided any costly fines.
If you’re already a PrestigePEO client and have questions about sexual harassment awareness training, please reach out to your HRBP. If you are not a current client and are feeling overwhelmed with this training and HR management as well, please reach out. We are happy to guide you!