Sexual Harassment in the Workplace –- A Legal Perspective

Sexual harassment in the work place is in the news in a big way, compelling us all to address the topic again, regardless of the size of your organization. Sadly, in 2017, 53 years after the enactment of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII”) our country has been bombarded by high profile cases of sexual harassment in the workplace, many of which rise to the level of sexual assault. As we learn more about these cases, in almost each instance, many people within and outside the organizations knew about the “perpetrators’” bad conduct and did nothing to stop it. In some situations, the conduct was so widely known that jokes were prevalent and Boards of Directors and Officers implemented contracts directing terms for future claims.

But the jokes aren’t funny and those contracts aren’t legal.

From November through the end of January 2018, I am going to examine this topic in depth, including legal definitions, causation, liability, and corporate culture.

On January 23, 2018, our firm will host a seminar on this subject at 4:30 pm at the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro. We hope you’ll attend and share your thoughts on how we collectively fix this problem, once and for all.

As a news blast, late last month, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) launched a nationwide service that allows individuals to submit inquiries and requests for interviews through its online portal. These initial inquiries and intake interviews are the first step to filing an EEOC Charge, and now it is as easy as accessing a laptop, tablet or smartphone. The program had been part of a pilot test before the national launch. Do you think the launch date was coincidental considering the news buzzing around???

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