Sexual harassment has serious psychological, emotional, and financial repercussions for the victim who experienced it. Anyone who faces this form of harassment will often face a decline in all aspects of their life, including in their careers, their education, and especially in their ability to make connections with other people. Since the harm that a person suffers is so severe the consequences to the abuser should be just as severe.
Employers must do everything in their power to make sure that this form of abuse is not occurring in the workplace. They are required to offer sexual harassment training to all their employees once they are recruited, This training should cover the actions that are considered abusive and what a person should do if they find themselves in such a situation.
Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual behavior, whether it is physical or verbal. This harassment generally occurs because of a person’s gender and it may also occur because a woman is undergoing pregnancy or other medical conditions. Sexual harassment is taken very seriously in Maine, and in 1991, it was the first state in which sexual harassment training was mandated. Sexual harassment training is there to educate both the employees and the supervisors on what they can do and what counts as abusive behavior.
If an employer fails to offer proper sexual harassment training and they fail to post a notice in their work regarding the illegal nature of the act, they can face up to $5000 for each violation that occurs by the Maine Department of Labor. Apart from the employer being penalized, if the abuse can be proven, the abuser will also have to face legal penalties for the inappropriate behavior they were carrying out.
What should sexual harassment training include in Maine?
According to the current employment law in Maine, any sexual harassment is against the law as it violates a person’s basic human rights.
Employers must include the following in their sexual harassment training programs:
- A written notice regarding the fact that sexual harassment is illegal
- A description that outlines sexual harassment
- An outline of the internal complaint procedure
- The responsibilities of supervisors and managers
There are many other factors that employers should include in their training. Anyone who suffered sexual harassment in their workplace because of negligence from their employer should connect with a sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible to get advice on what steps to take next to keep themselves safe.