2. To define and describe harassment
To identify situations and behaviors that
could be perceived as harassment.
To understand a supervisor’s obligations and
To apply specific strategies for preventing
and eliminating harassment.
To appropriately respond to allegations of
3. Federal Law:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
and other State & Federal legislation
Harassment as a form of Discrimination
Ethnicity* Disability Orientation
Religion Gender/Sex Age (40+)
Veterans - Vietnam, Gulf War
*Ethnicity includes any combination of race, color, nationality,
ancestry, cultural identity, etc.
4. State Law – Enforced by FEHA
Employers must distribute information sheet
Employers must post a copy of the DFEH poster
2005 AB 1825 – Mandatory Training
▪ Supervisor/manager training – 2 hours
▪ Every 2 years or within 6 months of employment
County Contractual Requirements
Required to comply with all mandates
5. 2001 – Durango Steak House
Consensual relationship between employee & her manager
She broke up but he continued to stalk
She reported to management and was fired as a result
Sued for QPQ, HWE, retaliation and negligent hiring
Jury awarded $252,000
2005 – UltraStar Cinemas, San Diego & Baja
Two adult managers’ conduct with 4 minor females
Evidence that owner-officers were aware of the conduct
Court awarded $1.5 million punitive to each ($6 million)
Plus $850,000 in damages - emotional distress
6. 2006 - Warner Brothers
The Friends Case – Writers had creative, explicit brainstorm sessions
Supreme Court ruled in favor of Warner Brothers
Addressed consideration for Job Context
2007 – Jesse James, West Coast Choppers
Evidence presented from emails and a T-shirt
Out of court settlement for $725,000
2008 – City of Brockton, Massachusetts
First grader accused of sexual harassment
Boy was immediately suspended, no investigation/due process
Debate drew international attention
The boy will receive $130,000, total settlement $240,000
Plus $50,000 in legal defense spent by the city
7. 1. Anita Hill/Justice Thomas
2. Paula Jones/President Clinton
3. The Tailhook Convention
4. Mitsubishi Motors
5. University of Colorado Football Program
How could these have been mitigated?
9. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for
sexual favors, and other verbal or physical
conduct of a sexual nature
Quid Pro Quo
▪ Employment terms & conditions are offered or withheld
as a means of coercing sexual favors
Hostile Work Environment
▪ Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering
with an individual's work performance or creating an
intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment
10. Translates to “This for That”
submission to unwelcome conduct is made either
explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an
individual's employment, and
submission to or rejection of unwelcome conduct by an
individual is used as the basis for employment decisions
effecting such individuals
The employer is automatically liable when the
harasser is a supervisor.
No affirmative defense is available when the
harasser is a supervisor.
11. Focuses on the protected trait of a victim;
Is unwanted or unwelcome; and
Is severe or pervasive enough to effect the
person’s work environment.
Repeated less favorable treatment
Behavior that intimidates, offends, degrades,
threatens, or humiliates
A single incident if egregious enough
Not necessarily linked to a tangible benefit
12. Can be harassment without being sexual in nature
Other forms of discrimination
Perception changes from person to person
Welcome vs. Unwelcome behavior
Be sensitive to perception
Reasonable person doctrine
Watch for perceived retaliation
Witness to offensive behavior
Third party harassment
Excluded from preferential treatment
14. Policy against Harassment Communicated
Ability to report it to more than one person
Effective handling of complaint
Promptly, Confidentially, and without Retaliation
Prompt, corrective action taken
15. Report complaint directly to:
Supervisor or Manager
Executive Management Team Member
Human Resources will promptly begin an
16. Examples of possible perception of retaliation
Changes in hours Changes in pay
Changes in job duties Changes in work shift
Changes in the way person is treated Changes in employment status
Changes in assignments Changes in work volume
Employer can prevail on harassment claims
but still lose on the retaliation claim
17. HARASSERS CAN BE… VICTIMS CAN BE…
• Supervisors • Supervisors
• Employees • Employees
• Clients • Clients
• Vendors • Vendors
• Male • Male
• Female • Female
18. Verbal – Language that is discriminatory,
sexual or offensive
Visual – Pictures, drawings, jokes, props
Physical – Body language, gestures, lewd
Electronic – Inappropriate email, videos,
Generally derogative communications of any
kind; insults or personal criticism
20. Supervisors can be held responsible for
harassment in instances where they knew or
should have known that inappropriate
behavior was taking place, but failed to take
21. Supervisors may be held personally and legally
liable in circumstances where they were a
contributor, either through action or inaction.
when they engage in behavior that is harassing, or
when they delay or fail to take action in the
▪ a complaint is made to them
▪ they see or hear about behavior that may be offensive
▪ they see or hear about behavior they know is harassment
22. These styles if directed at one group of
people could be perceived as harassing:
Dictator – overwork, unnecessary pressure, and
Passive Aggressive – Belittling, critical, sarcastic,
Micromanager – over-detailed supervision,
unwarranted checking and lack of trust
Isolationist – Exclusionary or laissez-faire,
withholding information or resources
23. Employees depend on their supervisors to provide a safe
and respectful work environment.
Supervisors can follow six steps to eliminate existing
sexual harassment and set the stage for preventing it in
1. Know our sexual harassment policy.
2. Be a role model for your staff.
3. Identify potential problems and report them to HR.
4. Practice our open door policy where people feel comfortable
confiding in you.
5. Maintain strict confidentiality.
6. Take action on all complaints even if recipient asks you not to.
28. MBWA – Management by Walking Around
Maintain open lines of communication so
everyone is aware of policy, unacceptable
behavior, expectations, etc.
Periodically review at Staff Meetings
Policy 111, Policy against Workplace Harassment
Page 17 of CRF Employee Handbook
Complying with this Policy is a Condition of
Employment with CRF
29. Be aware of the following:
It is your responsibility to take action if you know, or
should have known, about questionable behavior in
your workplace - even if an employee does not
complain to you about harassment.
The more severe the behavior is, the fewer times it
needs to be repeated before it is considered
The more severe and obvious the behavior is, the less
responsibility the receiver has to speak up.
Supervisors may be held personally liable for acts of
harassment they commit against another individual.
30. If you become aware of questionable behavior,
even if there is no complaint, you should:
Call Human Resources immediately.
Take prompt and corrective action.
Document action taken.
Communicate actions taken to the affected employee
and explain what he or she should do if the problem
should occur again.
Maintain strict confidentiality; information about the
incident should be shared on a need to know basis.