4 Practical Tips To Maximize The Impact Of Sexual Harassment Training

4 Practical Tips To Maximize The Impact Of Sexual Harassment Training

Sexual harassment compliance training is generally not HR professionals’ favorite thing. There is a lot of gray area in terms of what constitutes harassment. This gray area makes it difficult to distinguish whether something is sexual harassment or not, and creates a challenge for bystanders who have witnessed an iffy situation to know if they should or should not report of the situation.

There is a high chance that your employees have or will encounter an iffy situation. Providing them with clear and thorough training will help them to better distinguish a sexual harassment scenario and will increase their knowledge on how to correctly respond.
To maximize the impact of your company’s sexual harassment training, consider these 4 tips:

1. Make It Mandatory

From new hires to company executives, ensure each employee completes a thorough sexual harassment compliance training program. Mandatory training sends a message that all employees, despite their titles, are expected to represent themselves and their company in a way that is considerate and respectable. A lack of support from company leaders sets a poor example and generates a negative impact on the importance of training for the rest of the office. When factoring in schedules and company budget, utilize different training methods. Smaller group training sessions help employees to feel more comfortable asking questions and are more willing to participate in group discussions. Virtual training is another alternative but should have an interactive component like instructor-led live training sessions.

2. Keep It Recent and Relatable

You cannot expect your employees to read and memorize the company’s sexual harassment policies. Create an ongoing and interactive training experience with customized character-driven situations that resonate with your workplace. Show your employees workplace scenarios similar to what they’ve been dealing with in their workplace. Employees will start to see what could really happen to them personally as well as what may have happened to the company from a legal position. Discuss real-world topics such as hugs, jokes, dating in the workplace, alcohol at work-related events, and off-site and after-hours activities.

3. Check Your Culture

Do you allow inappropriate comments? Do you allow cursing? On-site drinking? Allowing this behavior creates an inappropriate environment. An inappropriate environment is usually what sparks sexual harassment. Harassment can range from extreme forms such as violence, threats, or physical touching to less obvious actions like teasing, mocking, or repeatedly bothering coworkers or refusing to talk to them. It can be based on a person’s race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Establish an Open-Door Policy for your employees to anonymously ask questions, get answers, and share experiences through a hotline, specific human resource person or email address, or outside party.

4. Safety Checks

Don’t limit sexual harassment training to a one-time event. It is important to have awareness campaigns periodically throughout the year. Provide tools like relevant brochures, helpful websites and blog links, videos and webinars to help employees identify and report improper behavior in the future. Hang anti-sexual harassment posters on notice boards in common work areas and send out emails reinforcing what was taught during training. Give employees a clear and concise outline your sexual harassment policy, reporting and investigation process, and penalties for non-compliance. When your company does health and safety surveys, collect data about sexual harassment and abuse. Analyze the data and reevaluate your training methods for the next time you have a sexual harassment training. Periodically conduct workplace audits to monitor any incidences of sexual harassment.

We need to shift away from explaining what sexual harassment is and drift towards creating a culture of respect and civility. We need to shift away from explaining how to avoid situations in which harassment can be questioned and towards ways to encourage trust. For more information on how Highflyer HR can provide effective sexual harassment training solutions, Contact us at (844) 398-7800 or getstarted@highflyerhr.com.

Avoid These 4 Common ACA Reporting Mistakes

Avoid These 4 Common ACA Reporting Mistakes

1. Applicable Large Employer “ALE” Member Identification & Responsibilities

  • Failure to understand the IRS penalties for not complying with the ACA including,
    1. the employers shared responsibility payment for failure to offer minimum essential coverage,
    2. employers shared responsibility payment for failure to offer affordable minimum essential coverage that provides minimum value (assessed if penalty 1 does not apply),
    3. failure to file correct information returns, and,
    4. failure to furnish correct payee statements.
  • Failure to perform annual ACA testing.
  • Failure to accurately combine ALE employer and employee information.
  • Failure to include any other ALE members on the 1094-C Part IV report.

2. Measurement, Stability, and Employment Periods

  • Failure to establish annual measurement and stability periods for determining which employees are to be offered health care coverage by the employer.
  • Failure to document all information necessary to identify full-time employees.
  • Failure to adopt policies explaining,
    1. its look back measurement period,
    2. description of how the employer is classifying its new employees, and,
    3. explanation of the time frames and start/end dates of the non-compliant measurement, Administrative, or Stability Period.
  • Erroneous reporting of employment periods including hire, rehire, and termination dates in Payroll and Time & Attendance platforms. (e.g. Inaccurate documentation explaining how an employee who has been rehired is a new or continuing employee.)
  • Failure to oversee disruptions in service of 13 weeks (or 26 weeks for an employee of an academic organization) for purposes of reconciling with employment status and with health benefits eligibility.

3. Classifying Employees

  • Failure to organize and accurately document employment classification with one of four labels:
    1. Full-Time
    2. Part-Time
    3. Variable Hour
    4. Seasonal
  • Misclassification of an employee, leading to the risk of a penalty. (e.g. Classifying new employees, who should be classified as full-time employees, as part-time employees or variable hour employees.)
  • Misclassification of contingent workers, leading to the risk of a penalty. (e.g. Freelancers, independent contractors, consultants, or other outsourced and non-permanent workers who are hired on a per-project basis are misclassified as full-time employees.)

4. Health Benefits

  • Failure to explain which affordability safe harbor the employer has elected to use.
  • Failure to document affordability plan for the employee.
  • Failure to sufficiently document offers of health coverage, including an explanation of the product being offered, effective applicability dates, the price of each option, and whether the coverage provides minimum value.
  • Failure to document when the health coverage offer was made. (e.g. Employee not returning his/her selection of coverage or waiver.)
  • Lack of awareness of the effect of Flex Credits (amount employer gives employees to purchase benefits), opt-out payments (payments made to employees who decline enrollment in an employer’s group health plan), and similar arrangements on the reportable amount of the employee’s required contribution to the monthly premium on line 15 of the 1095-C.
  • Errors in reporting on the Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C. (e.g. Inaccurate code combinations on line 14, 15, and 16 of Form 1095-C.)

aca due dates

To receive insights and a free risk assessment of your company’s ACA compliance practices with our HR industry experts call us at (844) 398-7800, or email us at getstarted@highflyerhr.com.