2018 Winter ERP Report - Special Edition


Employment Law Updates and Employee Relations Answers for Franchised New Car Dealers / Winter 2018

SPECIAL EDITION: Sexual Harassment Issue

Hostile work environment sexual harassment is more subtle and more common. This category refers to instances in which an employer engages in, encourages, or allows behavior that creates a workplace environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or offensive or that unreasonably interferes with an employee’s ability to perform their job. Examples include: • Sexually offensive remarks, jokes, or gestures

Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Roy Moore — the list goes on and on! It seems that every day there are new stories, across almost all industries, about workplace sexual misconduct. In light of the current conversation about appropriate workplace behavior, ERP has produced this special “Sexual Harassment Issue”. This edition offers dealers an understanding of what sexual harassment is, how to investigate reports of it, components of an anti-sexual harassment policy, how to discipline sexual harassers, and steps to ensure your dealership discourages all forms of harassment.

• Unwelcome sexual advances • Unwelcome physical contact • Coerced sex acts • Physical intimidation • Displaying pornographic material • Comments about someone’s gender or sexual preferences


$10 Mil Settlement in OEM Harassment Case

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently reached a $10 million settlement with Ford for sexual and racial harassment claims at two Chicago plants. A lawsuit related to these claims is still making its way through the courts, which means Ford will pay much more than $10 million before the matter is resolved. While rarely discussed, employee turnover and reduced productivity are a real cost, in addition to the monetary expense of settlements, legal fees, and court-ordered fines. Cases like this are stark reminders of how much a business risks by failing to prevent workplace sexual harassment. What is sexual harassment? There are two broad categories of sexual harassment — quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an employer, manager, or supervisor offers favorable treatment to an employee in exchange for sexual or romantic attention, or threatens negative treatment for refusing. For example, if an employee refuses to go on a date with a supervisor and the supervisor then threatens to demote them or schedules them for inconvenient shifts. Naturally, following through on these threats also qualifies as quid pro quo sexual harassment.

Who can commit sexual harassment? • People of any gender can commit sexual harassment. The victim doesn’t need to be of a specific gender in order for their behavior to qualify as sexual harassment. • The sexual harasser can be the victim’s supervisor/manager, an agent of the employer (i.e., a contracted construction worker), a coworker, or even a nonemployee (i.e., a customer).

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