Page 22: of Marine News Magazine (March 2017)
Pushboats, Tugs & Assist Vessels
LEGAL approach is prudent and praiseworthy. Prudent, because The direct message is that the company welcomes em- nipping harassment in the bud is the best way to avoid li- ployee complaints of harassment policy violations. The ability. Praiseworthy, because any form of harassment can company will promptly conduct a full and fair investi- cause real harm to another man or woman. However, ha- gation of each complaint and protect the complainant rassment prevention training should convey with clarity against any form of retaliation. Remedial action will be that company policy re? ects the employer’s higher aspira- taken whenever warranted by the facts as determined by tions rather than a replication of federal law. But, what does the company’s investigation.
that mean? The subtext is that there is little to be accomplished by • Title VII does not require us to walk on egg shells. bee-lining to a lawyer or the EEOC when harassment is
And conveying the false impression that it does may breed neither severe nor pervasive in nature. Rather, the most resentment and damage morale. effective avenue of redress is via the company’s internal • Title VII generally does not impose liability based on complaint process. sporadic off-color comments. And conveying the false im- Effective harassment prevention training should be based pression that it does may be a fast track to coercive threats on the law as it is, not on what some may want it to be.
and litigation by alleged victims.
• Title VII mandates that a worker be permitted to
Lee Seham is a partner in the labor/employment law