Date: Nov 01, 2014
Magazine:
November 2014: Drought Diagnosis--Difficult Year Ahead

When people think of agriculture, they think of family values, hard work, determination.  Troubles like sexual harassment don’t cross many minds — that’s an office problem, right? Wrong.

Sexual harassment and retaliation are issues in all industries. In fact, an investigation of farmworker women by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that “hundreds, if not thousands, of women” were affected by sexual harassment on the job.

In such an environment, being silent as an employer isn’t acceptable.  Take, for example, a major grower in California who settled a suit from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of indigenous peoples in 2012.  The result of the settlement was not only financially punitive, costing the company $350,000 to resolve the case, but also time consuming and labor intensive.  Part of that settlement went toward training for most of its 3,000 workers, plus yearly instruction for human resources and management staff.  In addition, the company rewrote its policies regarding discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation, drafted policies and procedures in languages its employees understand and even posted notices around the company explaining the changes.

These expenses, time away from doing business and exhaustive policy rework could have been avoided through proactively addressing issues of sexual harassment and discrimination, including proper training of managers and staff.

 

It’s not just a good idea — it’s the law

Since 2007, California state law has required employers with 50 or more employees to send their supervisors to sexual harassment prevention training within six months of taking on managerial duties and then at least every two years. To help you meet this requirement, Western Growers offers two types of Sexual Harassment Prevention training.

For companies with a large workforce, dedicated training on your property may be the easiest way to reach your managers without sacrificing travel time for them to attend training.  In that case, you can arrange for Western Growers trainers to come to your company’s property to teach your managers and supervisors about legal definitions and obligations relating to sexual harassment, employment discrimination and abusive conduct and how to address such issues correctly, plus the consequences of sexual harassment.

If you have fewer managers, you may want to send them to one of Western Growers’ interactive, two-hour, legally-compliant Sexual Harassment Prevention workshops across California.  The workshops also cover legal definitions and obligations relating to sexual harassment, employment discrimination and abusive conduct and teach attendees how to address such issues correctly.  They, too, discuss the consequences of sexual harassment, both for the individual and your company.

These in-person public sessions are offered in both English and Spanish. Advanced registration is required.

Upcoming workshops include

Imperial: November 20-21, 2014

Santa Maria: February 12-13, 2015

Fresno: April 2-3, 2015

Modesto: June 18-19, 2015

Register online at https://store.wga.com/ebustpro/events.aspx or email Adriana Robles at arobles@wga.com.

WG Staff Contact

Western Growers
Developer
949-863-1000

Join Western Growers

Western Growers members care deeply for the food they grow, the land they sustain, the people they employ, and the community in which they live. 

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