Podcast: Superstar Sexual Harassment and What to Do About It
Since sexual harassment claims against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein first emerged in October, the floodgates have opened. From Charlie Rose to Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin and many more, the allegations against big names keep on coming, and the #metoo movement is gaining strength.
On this podcast, workplace trainer and employment attorney Allison West discusses what organizations should do when it's a CEO, a senior vice president or any other prominent figure who stands accused of sexual harassment. West has conducted training for CBS and many other well-known employers. She also holds SPHR, SHRM-SCP and AWI-CH certifications, and is a popular speaker at SHRM conferences.
West cautions that employers need to be strategic in handling accusations against high-level executives. An outside independent investigator is generally the right person to investigate in these cases. She notes that HR employees might be intimidated because they might report to the accused or be dependent upon them.
"If a manager is engaged in inappropriate conduct, there is power there so that changes things dramatically," says West. Some other key tips she offers during our wide-ranging discussion include:
- Ensuring sexual harassment policies have a clear complaint procedure;
- Applying these policies both on and off site;
- Reacting promptly once an employer has notice;
- Requiring that relationships between managers and subordinates be disclosed; and
- Setting the right tone for the company culture at the top.