Sexual Conduct in the Workplace (Online & In-Person, Denver Based)

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Legally define sexual harassment, both quid pro quo and hostile work environment
  • Apply a three-part test to establish without a doubt whether or not a situation or circumstance constitutes sexual harassment
  • Identify the laws pertinent to sexual harassment
  • Understand the most up-to-date court rulings on sexual harassment and implications for the workplace
  • Understand key concepts such as a “reasonable person” vs. a “reasonable woman” standard for assessing a potential situation of sexual harassment
  • Identify which behaviors constitute sexual harassment (e.g., joking of a sexual nature, pornographic or sexually oriented pictures, unwelcome comments, touching of a sexual nature, workplace dating, etc.)
  • Recognize under what conditions romantic behaviors are acceptable in the workplace
  • Know what to do if they are being sexually harassed
  • Know what to do if they receive a complaint of sexual harassment
  • Distinguish between sexual harassment and gender discrimination
  • Apply knowledge and understanding to actual case studies of sexual harassment
  • Know relevant court cases and potential consequences (e.g., supervisors can be held personally liable financially in cases where they did not address a situation of sexual harassment appropriately)
  • Understand their responsibility and the responsibility of managers with regard to sexual harassment issues
Course Outline:
  • An introductory assessment of participants’ current knowledge level and understanding of sexual behavior in the workplace
  • Federal and state laws that govern sexual harassment
  • The legal definition of sexual harassment, quid pro quo, and hostile work environment
  • How to recognize quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment
  • The role of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state governing agencies
  • A three-point test to determine whether or not a situation or behavior qualifies as sexual harassment
  • How to determine when a behavior or circumstance constitutes sexual harassment and under what conditions
  • Clarification about the “gray areas” of concern such as dating, compliments, types of joking, innuendos, etc.
  • Gender discrimination vs. sexual harassment
  • Review of the organization’s sexual harassment policy
  • Review of historical and current court cases and implications
  • Review of key concepts, e.g., “reasonable woman” vs. “reasonable person” test of sexual harassment
  • What constitutes “unwelcome” behavior
  • Skill application exercises: Discussion of actual case studies of sexual harassment
  • Steps for preventing and addressing sexual harassment
  • Who is covered under the Civil Rights Act of 1964/1991?
  • Historical review of gender discrimination and sexual harassment
  • Explanations provided to commonly asked questions such as, “Can I ask a co-worker out on a date?”
  • What constitutes third-party sexual harassment
  • Potential personal liability for supervisors who fail to address situations of sexual harassment
  • What to do if you receive a complaint of sexual harassment
  • Tips for managers, e.g., how to respond when listening to a complaint, key questions to ask, and importance of documentation
  • Video: “The Issue is Respect”
    • Specific true-to-life scenarios with comments by attorneys; clarification of gray areas and key concepts
    • Steps for responding to a complaint of sexual harassment
    • Gender communication issues as related to sexual behavior at work
  • Video: “The Power Dead-Even Rule”
    • Male and female communication styles
    • Pat Hines, the presenter on the tape, is a foremost authority on male/female communication style differences and the impact of these differences at work
    • Managers, employees, and the organization’s responsibility with regard to sexual behavior at work
  • Closing: Focus on knowledge and skills gained

Methods of Instruction:

A variety of innovative methods are employed (lecturettes, large and small group discussion, small group exercises, role play, scripted scenarios, simulation exercises, interaction with class) in order to provide a variety of teaching techniques designed to address different learning styles, and to foster a safe, open forum for discussion and learning.

Course Length:

1 Day (Content can be adjusted accordingly for a shorter program.)