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Ask Jack: Should We Dump Our Sexual Harassment Training?

By Jack McCalmon, The McCalmon Group, Inc.

Dear Jack:


I recently read where sexual harassment training was called ineffective. Should we continue to spend money on something that is not working or dump it?


Signed: Karen


Dear Karen:

There are a lot of people commenting on how to improve sexual harassment training, but I have yet to hear any person recommending that employers abandon sexual harassment training. I certainly would never advise that course of action.

The fact is that if you do not do sexual harassment training, you will be viewed as insensitive to sexual harassment by employees, other workplace participants, applicants, and any other person or group evaluating how you address sexual harassment prevention. 

If anything, you should consider more training and not less. For example, do you only train on sexual harassment every other year? If so, you should consider sexual harassment training that provides supplemental or refresher training every quarter or at least every year. You should also consider augmenting your sexual harassment training with different types of training that promote respect, such as civility training.

One of the most effective training programs is workplace boundaries training. Workplace boundaries training details the importance of respecting personal, professional, and organizational boundaries. This type of training is effective for limiting the behaviors that can lead to charges of hostile environment sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment training is effective, if performed correctly. If you feel your sexual harassment training is ineffective, you should consider another sexual harassment training provider or consider providing training in a different format. 

Jack McCalmon and Leslie Zieren are attorneys with more than 50 years combined experience assisting employers in lowering their risk, including answering questions, like the one above, through the McCalmon Group's Best Practices Help Line. The Best Practice Help Line is a service of The McCalmon Group, Inc. Your organization may have access to The Best Practice Help Line or a similar service from another provider at no cost to you or at a discount. For questions about The Best Practice Help Line or what similar services are available to you via this Platform, call 888.712.7667.

If you have a question that you would like Jack McCalmon or Leslie Zieren to consider for this column, please submit it to Please note that The McCalmon Group cannot guarantee that your question will be answered. Answers are based on generally accepted risk management best practices. They are not, and should not be considered, legal advice. If you need an answer immediately or desire legal advice, please call your local legal counsel.

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