Report from NY AG on Cuomo & Sexual Harassment
The report from the State of New York Attorney General on the actions of Governor Andrew Cuomo certainly has opened eyes and the conversation on sexual harassment. Toxic workplace culture like what was outlined in the report on Cuomo can allow for sexual harassment to occur. Cuomo has denied the allegations against him. The report stated the governor's alleged actions "did not occur in a vacuum" and that an overall toxic culture "was relevant to important aspects of our findings, including how the governor appeared to believe he never behaved inappropriately, as well as the complainants' willingness, delay, and sometimes refusal to report inappropriate conduct within the Executive Chamber."
Many employees may find it hard to speak up about a toxic workplace culture. There are many stories from the #MeToo movement that prompted calls for many different workplace overhauls. Every company must have policies and procedures in place to allow employees to report inappropriate behavior and in ways that protect those who report the behaviors.
It is unlawful to harass a job applicant or an employee because of that person's sex. Harassment does not necessarily have to be sexual in nature but many times it is. It can include offensive remarks about a person's sex. Every company should have mandatory sexual harassment training for all staff. A separate training for supervisors should include information on retaliation and employer liability. If you are in certain states, this is required by law. Contact us if you need help with your policies and procedures or setting up your training.