Bringing together the legal expertise of Gray Reed’s employment law attorneys and the real life corporate experiences of an HR Professional, Gray Reed’s Dallas office hosted “#MeToo in the Workplace” on Thursday, June 7, 2018. The event was intended to be a discussion of today’s workplace environment in relation to the #MeToo movement and steps companies can take to develop a culture that minimizes sexual harassment conduct. More than 60 guests, primarily in-house counsel and HR professionals, attended.
Gray Reed Employment Law Partner Michael Kelsheimer began the presentation discussing the evolution of sexual harassment claims in the U.S. and the development of related legal standards, as well as the tidal wave of sexual harassment claims, including Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer, that have been highly-reported since actress Alyssa Milano ignited the #MeToo movement on social media.
The head of Gray Reed’s labor and employment law section, Ruth Ann Daniels, and Vice President of Human Resources for AutoNation Central Region Taylore Elliott then engaged in a conversation based on the findings in the EEOC Task Force’s 95-page report on “Harassment in the Workplace”. Topics included:
- The importance of leadership and accountability, particularly among the leadership of a company
- Reversing the trend of workplace harassment too often going unreported
- The elements of an effective harassment training program
- Environmental risk factors that should be considered when dealing with sexual harassment prevention and policy enforcement
- Business reasons for stopping and preventing harassment
“As can be seen in the media, sexual harassment can happen anywhere and prevention should be a priority on every employer’s action list,” Daniels says. “We hope that this event not only opened people’s eyes to the importance of being proactive when dealing with sexual harassment but also provided practical guidance that attendees can implement at their own workplace.”
For an excerpt of the presentation, along with added information, click here, and for a copy of the EEOC Report, click here.