So it makes sense to me that you would also do something
along the lines of sexual harassment. The training dovetails
with the whole idea of just having paper policies. If every employer of any sort of sophistication has a bunch of EEO [Equal
Employment Opportunity] statements about how they value
diversity and hate harassment. … But what does that really
mean in terms of the workplace?
You have the folks that are in the C-suite—the executives, the managers—that are attending those trainings,
and [are they] taking them seriously? Are you fostering
an environment in which that type of
behavior is not only unacceptable, but if
you’re witnessing it happening, you are
going to report it even though you’re
not the victim, or the target of the behavior? [They might think], “Everything
is fine, we’re just joking, everyone’s
laughing at first at work.” And then it
escalates, and it’s a touch on the small
of your back, and then it’s constant
hands on the shoulder, and then the
next thing you know you are trapped in
a confined space with a predator. So I
think trainings, and getting that conversation, starting that dialogue, whether
it’s voluntary or mandatory, is all to the
betterment of the workplace.
ELIZABETH VAN MOPPES:
I would add onto that a couple of things
that—not just as an investigator, but I
also do some advice work afterwards, and
even before with employers, and training.
Training should not be pushing a button
on a computer. OK, A doesn’t work. Oh,
I’m supposed to push B then. B doesn’t
work. OK, I’ll push C. Nobody’s reading it.
Training should be interactive. Training
should be different. People should know
their managers are having training. They
should know that their managers are also
being subjected to training.
Paper policy should say things like
you are required to, if you see something,
you are required to say something. You
are responsible for your coworkers. If
you are a manager, you are not only
responsible, but you’re legally liable if
you don’t say something.
While we’re at it, the policy should also
say: make sure if you report it to somebody, to HR, that HR has done something
about it because you’re responsible for it.
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Turning it over to HR is not enough.
There are a lot of things about becoming responsible
for this sort of activity that we need to do as a society that
shouldn’t stop because we’re in our employer’s domain. I
think the policies and the training are just the start, but
these things, obviously, haven’t been working, and we need
to change them.
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