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  • Harassment

    I’m white, and I’m biased

    As a nice liberal progressive white woman, of course I don’t like to think I’m biased. I have spent most of my professional life fighting racism–as an attorney representing victims of harassment and discrimination, and as a trainer presenting programs to prevent harassment, discrimination and bias, and to increase diversity, inclusion and belonging. And yet, I have been socialized in a world that privileges white people. I don’t have to worry about any member of my family walking or jogging down the street being seen as a criminal because of the color of his skin. I don’t have to worry about them dying at the hands of police or white supremacists. So I like to think I’m not biased. In 1980, I went to the Democratic convention in NYC as a reporter. There was an alternative people’s convention in the Bronx on Saturday morning. My friends in Manhattan told me not to go there at all, and definitely not alone because it was a “dangerous neighborhood.” I went anyway. I took the train and came out into a beautiful summer morning. I walked along the neighborhood main street and saw smiling families out enjoying the day. From the restaurants came…

  • Sexual Harassment

    Sexual Harassment Insights from Steve Carell’s Performance (Not in The Office)

    Sexual harassment training videos are usually ridiculous, but now there’s a great way to understand many of the issues that can arise, including implicit quid pro quo, cover-ups by management, complicity by male and female bystanders, failures by HR, and impacts on truly consensual relationships. The Apple TV series, The Morning Show, starring Jennifer Anniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, is a fantastic window into the dynamics of sex in the workplace. The series is 10 episodes, and they’re all great. But if you want to get the essence of it in one hour, check out season 1, episode 8. A flashback, it is actually the first episode chronologically. In it we see Carell, as a sort of Matt Lauer character, come on to a woman subordinate. What is happening from his perspective? From her perspective?  What could be the short-term and long-term results? These are questions we can ponder and discuss with friends and family. To see some answers, you can watch the next two episodes as well—or go back to the beginning and watch all 10. One of the most difficult sexual harassment concepts for many people to grasp is implied quid pro quo. Explicit quid…

  • Harassment
    Photo by Tristan Ramberg on Unsplash

    Court rules calling women “sensitive flowers” shows gender bias

    All employers should provide training not only on preventing sexual harassment, but also eliminating gender bias.

  • Uncategorized

    Honolulu Employer Pays $200,000 for Harassment

    A Texas construction company doing business in Honolulu has agreed to pay $200,000 to settle a sexual harassment complaint brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a woman employee. The lawsuit alleged that Southland Contracting, Inc., Mole Constructors, Inc. and Southland Mole JV retaliated against her when she complained. The companies also agreed to provide live training for every employee. If your organization wants to prevent lawsuits like this, maybe you should do live training, too. Contact us.

  • Harassment

    Be Fair to Accused Harassers, Court Rules

    A respectful workplace cannot be created if anyone is treated with disrespect. A fair hearing is fair only if everyone is heard.

  • Sexual Harassment

    FBI women not allowed to sue anonymously

    The 16 women who filed a sex bias and harassment case against the FBI cannot sue anonymously, even though they fear retaliation.

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