Sexual Harassment in the Digital Age
Almost everyone has some sort of online footprint, and your employees’ could affect your business. Furthermore, social media and other electronic communications exponentially expand the opportunities for workplace sexual harassment. By the time the session is over, employees should be able to recount types of online conduct that constitute sexual harassment; avoid improper online communications; understand why actions taken with personal devices or even off duty are covered by workplace rules; know their rights and limitation on those rights; recognize that harassment comes in many shapes and forms; and act to prevent and respond to harassment.
Why “Sexual Harassment in the Digital Age” Matters:
Employers have long been acquainted with the dangers of sexual harassment, with associated problems ranging from morale issues to monetary liability. The digital age has brought ever-expanding possibilities for workplace harassment, making “Sexual Harassment in the Digital Age” essential employee training because:
Title VII prohibits sexual harassment, including online or other electronic harassment.
It doesn’t matter when or where the harassment happens—the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has pursued charges against employers over sexual harassment committed on employee’s personal devices, personal accounts, and personal time.
While state laws do afford employees some online privacy rights, those rights are limited, and employees should understand that illegal behavior is never protected.
To help mitigate employer liability, employees must be trained on how to report harassment.
- Harassment can take place both in and out of the workplace;
- Harassment can occur even if you’re on your own personal electronic device;
- Social media sites can be another setting for harassment;
- While state laws may protect your privacy in some online and off-duty contexts, these laws don’t protect illegal and harassing behavior;
- Electronic communications can often be retrieved, even long after you think you’ve deleted them; and
- Employees should treat each other with the same dignity and respect online as they do in person.