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Associations renew focus on sexual harassment policies

Avalanche of claims highlights need to ensure procedures are sound, followed correctly; be sure to educate board, employees

Eisenberg, Wilson and Goch
From left, attorneys Ruth Eisenberg, Jim Wilson and David Goch.

Dec. 1, 2017
By William Ehart

Rampant revelations of sexual harassment by powerful men from Hollywood to Congress have spurred increased complaints across a range of industries, and some groups are taking a fresh look at workplace behavior policies in order to protect staff and limit legal liability.

Smaller associations may be more vulnerable if they lack dedicated human resources professionals and multiple avenues for victims to report sexual harassment. However, experts say there are plenty of free resources to help small groups comply with the law.

Employment lawyers say harassment policies and procedures should be reviewed frequently anyway, but today’s environment makes the task urgent: As more allegations surface, more alleged victims feel empowered or willing to come forward.