The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was busy last week announcing settlements with three employers in workplace sexual harassment charges. Dollar General Corporation agreed to pay $27,500 and to provide sexual harassment and retaliation training for store managers and assistant managers. UnityPoint Health Trinity will pay $65,000, and comply with an injunction prohibiting further harassment and retaliation and imposing additional recordkeeping and reporting responsibilities. And JPMorgan Chase will pay $1,450,000 and revamp its call data retention procedures.
A regional attorney for the EEOC said of the settlements, “The EEOC continues to take sexual harassment in the workplace very seriously. We cannot stress more strongly an employer’s legal obligation to ensure the workplace is free of sexual harassment. Part of this obligation includes promptly and effectively investigating all complaints of harassment and then taking proper action, when necessary, to correct such unlawful behavior.”
These settlements and the EEOC’s position should cause companies to consider whether their managers and supervisors possess the knowledge and skills to deter and address sexual and other types of workplace harassment. If you are unsure how to answer this question for your company, we recommend that you look into harassment prevention training. This training becomes part of your company’s defense to potential harassment claims.