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Employers can take steps to prevent sexual harassment

Despite legal requirements that employers in Florida provide their employees with safe workplaces, sexual harassment remains a serious problem. To develop sexual harassment training with a results-oriented approach, employers should define goals, use group discussions and provide a call to action. Defining goals allows for the creation of a safety-oriented work culture. Employers should choose verbiage that has company-specific meaning. Every industry and organization has its own objectives and vernacular. Making use of relevant language gives the exercise resonance.

Group discussions can be particularly helpful in that they allow for everyone to have a voice. However, not everyone will want to speak in front of the whole organization. In smaller groups, employees can feed off of one another and feel freer to speak their minds. A spokesperson can be appointed for each of the groups to relay their major ideas.

The organization can then develop a call to action based on the idea of group safety as the ultimate goal. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said that much of the sexual harassment training conducted nationwide over the past three decades has not been effective in actually preventing harassment because it's too often focused on avoiding liability. Ineffective training may be counterproductive or unhelpful, and sexual harassment in the workplace can lead to legal claims.

Workers in Florida who believe they have experienced workplace sexual harassment or other discrimination might want to schedule a consultation with an attorney. Legal counsel might be able to assist by examining the facts of the case and providing advice as to possible avenues of relief. An attorney could conduct witness interviews or otherwise gather evidence to build a case. Legal counsel might also be able to settle the case with the employer without filing a civil complaint.

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