Congresswoman Jackie Speier introduced a bill that would require harassment training for the House of Representatives earlier this week. It makes sense. After all, such training is already required for executive branch agencies. It’s critical too in the private sector; some states require it by statute. But even for those that don’t, it’s an essential part of a harassment prevention plan – something every employer has to have, per the courts. Why should the House be held to a different standard?
In her press release announcing the bill, Speier referenced Congressman Bob Filner, the former mayor of San Diego who got hit hard with harassment allegations last year (from seventeen former aides).
Is training a panacea that will eliminate harassment in the workplace?
Um, no. But, it will do several really important things: reduce workplace misconduct, make sure everyone knows where to go if a problem arises, educate the workforce on legal rights and responsibilities, and provide employers with a defense should litigation ensue.