Does sexual harassment prevention training prevent sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is a widespread issue in the workplace and has detrimental effects on both the individual and the organization. The prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace has prompted employers to take action to prevent it from occurring. One approach that has been implemented is sexual harassment prevention training.
Sexual harassment prevention training is an educational program aimed at educating employees about what constitutes sexual harassment, the consequences of such behavior, and how to prevent it. The goal of these programs is to create a workplace culture in which employees are aware of what constitutes harassment and feel empowered to report it if it occurs.
One study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology examined the effectiveness of sexual harassment prevention training in reducing incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace. The study was conducted on a sample of female employees in a large retail organization and found that those who received sexual harassment prevention training reported significantly lower levels of sexual harassment compared to those who did not receive the training (Fitzgerald et al., 1988).
The study found that the training was effective in reducing incidences of sexual harassment in several ways. First, it increased employees’ knowledge of what constitutes sexual harassment, making it easier for them to recognize and report it if it occurred. Secondly, the training empowered employees to take action if they were subjected to harassment by providing them with the tools and confidence to address the situation.
The results of this study suggest that sexual harassment prevention training can be an effective tool in reducing incidences of sexual harassment in the workplace. However, it is important to note that the success of these programs is dependent on several factors, including the content of the training, the frequency and timing of the training, and the level of employee engagement.
The content of the training is particularly important, as it needs to be comprehensive, up-to-date, and culturally relevant. The training should cover a wide range of topics, including what constitutes sexual harassment, the consequences of such behavior, and how to prevent it. In addition, the training should be interactive and engaging, using real-life scenarios and case studies to illustrate key concepts.
The frequency and timing of the training are also critical to its effectiveness. Regular training sessions should be held to ensure that employees are kept up-to-date on the latest developments and trends in sexual harassment. Training should also be offered at convenient times, such as during work hours, to minimize any disruption to employees’ schedules.
Finally, the level of employee engagement is a critical factor in the success of sexual harassment prevention training. Employees must be fully engaged and participate actively in the training to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the material covered. In addition, they should be encouraged to provide feedback and suggestions to improve the training.
Sexual harassment prevention training can be an effective method for reducing incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace. The success of these programs is dependent on several factors, including the content of the training, the frequency and timing of the training, and the level of employee engagement. The study by Fitzgerald et al. (1988) provides evidence that such training can have a positive impact on reducing incidences of sexual harassment. Employers should consider implementing these programs in their organizations to create a safe and respectful workplace for all employees.
And now for a shameless plug …
I will be conducting the two-hour sexual harassment prevention training hosted by the Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance on May 11, 2023, from 10:15 to noon. Attendees will receive a certificate for the two-hour sexual harassment prevention training applicable to all employees and supervisors. The training will be conducted via Zoom and attendees will be able to ask questions and engage in interactive polls. I will also discuss recent updates in California employment laws.
Original article Robert E. Nuddleman
Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.
Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted on this blog.
The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employers and employees in a wide range of employment law matters. Much of our practice focuses on wage and hour issues, such as unpaid overtime, meal and rest break violations, designing or enforcing commission plans, and other wage-related claims. Mr. Nuddleman advises employers on how to avoid harassment and wrongful termination claims and represents employees who have been victims of unlawful discrimination, retaliation or harassment. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. helps employers develop good employment policies, helps employers and employees with disability accommodation issues and ensures employees are correctly paid wages owed.
 Reference: Fitzgerald, L. F., Swan, S., & Magley, V. J. (1988). The incidence and dimensions of sexual harassment in the workplace: A national survey. Journal of Applied Psychology, 73(2), 308–318. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.73.2.308