The most effective training typically provides a healthy dose of the reality of individual liability that a supervisor or manager may face both as a perpetrator of harassment or as someone who simply ignores inappropriate behavior. (Photo: iStock)

The proliferation of high-profile sexual harassment  and sexual assault claims in recent months has been staggering, and it is a safe bet that such claims will greatly increase in number in the New Year. To be sure, victims of such harassment have found courage in the wake of the changing political climate, particularly in light of the number of serial offenders who have been unceremoniously removed from extremely lucrative positions. The balance of power and fear of the power that has been wielded for years by perpetrators of unwanted advances and, at times, sexual assaults, has shifted in favor of those who have for too long been victimized in employment settings.

For employers who have knowingly elevated public image and/or pursuit of profit over protection of their employees, and who have displayed a callous disregard or willful ignorance for what was often well-known in the workplace, it would appear the day of reckoning is coming. In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently launched an online system that permits employees nationwide to inquire about potential discrimination and/or sexual harassment claims and to electronically sign and file complaints against their employers and/or supervisors and managers. 

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