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USA: Govt. agency reports workplace sexual harassment training does not prevent misconduct, makes recommendations


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28 June 2016

Sexual harassment training 'not as effective' in stopping behavior at work

Author: Sam Levin, Guardian (UK)

Federal labor regulators have concluded that sexual harassment prevention training is often ineffective and sometimes even harmful…

A taskforce of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] found that workplace initiatives targeting harassment are generally focused on avoiding legal liability instead of stopping misconduct…

In the face of public scrutiny, employers and college administrators typically emphasize training initiatives, but critics say there is little evidence that courses make a difference.

“We were surprised at the research that showed that the type of anti-harassment training that has been done to date … is not as effective in actually changing behaviors,” said Chai Feldblum, EEOC commissioner and co-author of the report.

…Some researchers have found that training courses can reinforce gender stereotypes, make men less capable of perceiving inappropriate behavior, and may increase the likelihood that people discount victims…

The EEOC report suggests that increased diversity in management positions could have a much greater impact than training…

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1 June 2016

Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace - Report of Co-Chairs Chai R. Feldblum & Victoria A. Lipnic

Author: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (USA)

[Full report]

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