March '18

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60 THE SHOP MARCH 2018 incidents of sexual harassment. "We all have to be educated," says Ford. "Plenty of people make mistakes from simple ignorance. They just do not know what they are doing." All levels of personnel need training on company policies and on the established channels for reporting incidents. And everyone needs to understand they are expected and encouraged to come forward with complaints. "Plenty of people encounter sexual harass- ment, but hesitate to take action," says Ford. "That's because they have always lived in an environment where saying something about the problem makes you a coward, or not able to keep a stiff upper lip." STEP 4 RESPOND QUICKLY TO COMPLAINTS Take prompt action when individuals report harassment. "One of the biggest errors employers make is not listening when people raise issues," says Gregg. "Employers often don't take reports seriously." Your business benefits when quick responses to complaints help establish credibility in your prevention program. "People are more prone to utilize internal resources to resolve problems if their employer has a record of prompt and effec- tive action when harassment is reported," says McDonald. "On the other hand, if an employer has not taken sexual harassment reports seriously, people are more likely to use outside attorneys to sue when harass- ment occurs." INVOLVE THE COMPLAINANT Investigate each complaint thoroughly, interviewing any third-party witnesses. And find out what corrective action the complainant deems appropriate. "While you don't want the complainant to decide what action is taken, you do want to get that person's input on whether ter- mination or a lesser remedial measure is appropriate," says Harkins. Complainants may have any number of reactions to what they have experienced. "Sometimes they say the harassment was not severe, but they reported it because they just wanted the organization to know We have come to a tipping point in society, where people are starting to believe individuals who say they were sexually harassed. PREVENTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT 3 DAYS | 2 0 0 + C O M PA N I E S | 2 0 0 0 + M E E T I N G S | E N D L E S S P O T E N T I A L C O N N E C T I O N S T H E M O S T P R O D U C T I V E B 2 B E V E N T ! ( 76 0 ) 3 4 6 - 5 6 47 | c o n n e c t @ c u s t o m a u t o m o t i v e n e t w o r k . c o m 2 0 1 8 C A N C O N N E C T C O N F E R E N C E R E G I S T E R T O DAY : c u s t o m a u t o m o t i v e n e t w o r k . c o m S e p t e m b e r 9 - 1 2 | F r i s c o , TX M A N U FAC T U R E R S D I S T R I B U T O R S S A L E S R E P S S E RV I C E P R OV I D E R M E D I A

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