Colorado employers taking fresh look at sexual harassment policies in the age of #MeToo
The rising wave of sexual misconduct scandals involving men from Hollywood to Colorado’s halls of power has employers on high alert.
They’re scrutinizing and updating their internal sexual harassment policies and adding new training sessions. Some are calling on outside legal and human resources help. The point: They intend to make sure they are doing all they can to provide safe, comfortable, legally compliant workplaces for employees while reducing their own risks.
“In general with the #MeToo movement, I think many, many employers are re-emphasizing their policies against sex harassment and the education efforts for their employees,” said longtime Denver labor attorney David Stacy, referring to the social media movement that began last fall. “And more employers are having their lawyers advise them throughout the process of investigating and discipline, if appropriate.”
Stacy said he is fielding more calls from clients on the issue over the past few months.
Denver-based nonprofit the Employers Council — formerly the Mountain States Employers Council — introduced a new online sexual harassment seminar for its more than 4,000 member companies in January in response to increased inquires about the topic. The webinar, which 200 to 300 companies have tuned in to so far, covers basics such as standard policies, employee education and legally mandated investigations that must be performed in the event of a sexual harassment allegation, said Lorrie Ray, the council’s director of member engagement. It doesn’t stop there.
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