What is or isn't sexual harassment?

Newell Normand
Friday, January 26th
The #MeToo movement has many people asking questions about what is and isn’t sexual harassment. Can you give a coworker a compliment? What about a pat on the back? Is light-hearted teasing OK? Is it alright to date someone you work with? What office behaviors are to be avoided?  Are men and women are scrutinized equally? And, how to file a complaint if you think you’ve been sexually harassed at work?

This Hours guest:
Amy Bakay - Founder and owner of HR Nola. LLC
Victor Farrugia    - Attorney, handles sexual harassment cases

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

And a Good Friday morning to a year great to be back in the studio on their fri day welcome aboard mall on a great show we've got planned for you renewal is how open he will be back with you on Monday. In our last how we're gonna be asking this question should Louisiana sacrifice the little curler of the natural resources to. Help save Jackson Mississippi's. Flood problems. On the concern if you reduce the river flow it causes degradation to the river habitats in the wetlands on the lower pearl. As can endanger some mean already endangered species as well some critical habitat we've got someone working very hard for the state Louisiana and what is almost become a battle between the states. The Louisiana and Mississippi. Are we gonna have state senate Sherron you would Jones talk about it. And also Andrew whitehurst who was with the gulf restoration network he is the water program director. The kind of fill you in on this topic which is is very very important and I'm not tournament just to sportsmen. So goes that low per also goes a lot of the economic. Benefits that are enjoyed in southeast Louisiana. So was state senate to you and is coming grabbed the bowl Malo horns and taken a leadership role and then we'll get on to explain. The whole situation in and make this public at least so that people in Louisiana. Or aware of what's being done that's our final out. Next hour Laura what do talk about. An incident that happened last weekend. And it it got me to thinking a friend of mine. Was was stopped by Wallace and fisheries enforcement agent for suspected non just basically for routine check and he did find the minor violation. But that's not the story the story was he had his young chow with team who would then run with him and the agent although he was very respectful and handled in a very professional manner. Kinda isolated the dead away from the child and on Lincoln luckily he he got a phone call into another friend a friend came out and comment. Took the child on the side and kept him calm but it's kind of brought some of the mine I mean what goes through a child's mind when there with a parent. The parent is suspected it's maybe a traffic violation on May be even a more serious charge. And they're being held may be frisked even costs and a detained and questioned in the towels left the stand in a month small kids you know could be any age. And what a traumatic experience a must be for the child. But it's also a tough situation front office and two because you know they don't know who they're dealing with and they've got to protect themselves to. But in doing that do they neglect. That the child in and you know the child's interest and kind of way are we asking. You you if you've ever had that situation how was it handled. And we've invited us Jeff and Jeff's in Paris Joel Tinto to join us talk about their policy. I'll win now offices in common someone that they need to detain may be questioned. Maybe even have them cinema car up put some cuffs on temporarily they've got a small child loses basically an innocent bystander. What happens to match well holiday handle that. As I've got to believe for the child to watch their parent being treated in that fashion. It could be a very traumatic experience for better we'll explore that next hour this hour. We've talked about sump and has been a Newt I think the last time I was on the air which has been quite a few months ago on at least in this role. It was sexual harassment and and it hasn't stopped its continued to go. And it's very very confusing to a lot of people I can tell you this I know a lot of my friends. I you know the old expression walking on a jails around their office some of them are afraid to breathe they don't long to know what's gonna happen. And work our economy explore what exactly is sexual harassment. That's up ready opinion poll questioned by the way you're in you can find that at WW all dot com. Simply go to our web page and cast a simple vote yes and on military Wimbledon I must say no I do not know what constitutes it. I've seen other cases up followed some of that some of them seem very cut and dry Leo I think it's. Don't like what they say about bud jazz you know I can't describe it though wanna see it now when I hear it I know it's the same thing with pornography. Is the same thing can be said what about sexual harassment is it's open it's clearly blatant and when it happens you know it. Or is it something that it's up to the guys in the behold we've got a couple of special guest to talk is about this first up is Amy buck today. Was a founder and owner of HR Nolan LLC Amy thanks for being with us we appreciate. If you would tell me a little bit about HR Nolan LLC. Art knowledge human resource it out outsourcing company we spent a lot and a body. They are there are small and mid company and the area that part of their. Two you a little after eight our support app one and now perhaps Erik Wahl the a restaurant or on sale at 88 are on tap weakened. About there is well and import Leah we hear a lot of an. Opportunity a bit in particular round. Up. This me to movements has just swept across the country and it's a lot of people thinking a lot of people changing their behavior totally. Is this big come some a dominant topic for your company to handle with the clients. Well absolutely you know. We we aren't so proud that all and it's been very clear week. Meet with more and more employers and the area. You know women that experiencing anything work for amber and I looked at me is that they honor it like. There's an up critical apps that are on stand together. But it. It's a great opportunity great are for business owners are really different. And make a safe workplace Whitman and cartman ever really burial at area of the country I think women and men like her life. You know they they want they'll report it and they don't fear retaliation. So you clients asking you about Tom overreaction. And and to safeguard against San does that starting to to finally creeping into where maybe women becoming overly sensitive. Well you know I haven't seen people as you opened up with a toe walking on eggshells and you know I say what is and I think. Not only is important that the mine are here for your workplace what is till now but also important to find what it is not that. And you know walking on all up at their past me I get someone accomplice. You know can I give someone pat on the it wasn't that hot that it hit them is pretty important to get out that and give them really well and what it is and what it. But here at rye on. It is not met the Caribbean. That is how the person or they. Amy we're gonna take a break and we come back and like you to give me some examples of some that are clear some that all of but maybe not so clear and some not are simply not sexual harassment in the workplace. Amy bark is I guess a founder and owner of HR Nolan LLC. And you like to weigh in give us a call at 504260187. And we have that ever present text born 870870. But as we always say. Do not text and drive will be right back listening to WW LE 78. And this morning we're sticking with Amy -- case founder and owner of HR Knoll LLC on there are basically consulting company and they sent helps at HR policies for companies. On the meat till movement is certainly got sexual harassment and workplace on everyone's mind in as I mentioned the top of the program. A lot of men know or thinking other walking around they shells are afraid to breathe they don't know what to say they've quit speaking all right interacting with female employees at all to avoid any problems. And with trying to figure out what exactly constitutes sexual harassment and what is not. And if you could give us may be some examples goes we don't want company names and no individual names that. Some things that maybe you were consulted about the cases now what mood might have been sexual harassment in in what junior told them as far as weather wasn't wasn't. Serve on I had a lot of employers called me recently asked can you get someone compliment can he get someone pat on the back is it (%expletive) work okay. And the art compliment. Him model. Too really caught the end. And Ali I went out. You know technically sexual harassment is unwelcome and then one conduct a receive a body and and it would be pretty reasonable part and beer and but you know there could be. Saying I want your idea. And I like that what you're looking at. I don't object. Art and and these are real. Complements what happened in the workplace every day I thought I'd like them. Well it would not a compliment to a male coworker and what I know comparable went on me. Yet people did you suspect call and say you know I mean to be that way I mean and you know by. It without the people. That the conduct is not whether you intend to be at. For example of that poll last year November I'll an outcrop that. And they now young adults in the United States that they can hitter harassment at a man who would not and partner commented on Guam and attractive and so again you know you really ought and so. What all. I would say comment by. It looks like you've been working out or had you walked away you looks fantastic. They're like. Comments are really open to interpret plate and be they're initially think considering typical packer these terrible war. And eat it down like that thing again I. Sometimes they. Would be. Respectfully suggest that that things need to be. Or or march a year out they would turn their makeup. So again in general good rule when it out. The mood is it safe to say that some of these these comments that you just said that that were made if they were made outside the workplace. Between now a single available adults would be acceptable but because it happens in the workplace is not. You're at rye. And what what could be construed in the workplace that. It's a little bit bored because that car when you go attracting your employer. Could revive and they are there are federally required tactic or more employees or why to provide. Free or. Hi pat on the pink and country would be interpreted in the work place. I'm Amy you mentioned on two key words that would definitely constitutes sexual harassment that being. On willingness. And on was in the term used on a lot on one on welcomes and on wanted. I do women because we're talking here in 1995%. Of this is women on manic could be at the other way around but for the most part it's always going to be the women who. All the ones of claims of sexual harassment. Could bear some responsibility and by not letting the person know that it is on one an unwelcomed and you know on on wanted to because if they don't say anything about it. Maybe the guys think it shouldn't saying that she's not liking what do you sing a song gonna keep it up and continue. Should should they feel any bit of guilt among not immediately telling that person in no uncertain outlook really. How would not I don't wanna hear of that and that's that's not appropriate. In as it happens again I'm gonna go to to to lose a supervisor RH. Obviously you want to create and dairy include entrusting work in where employees are. It comparable and a few. I can't convert it on why and and there are certain degree level of responsibility that he was the day. Among comparable with. This this comment or it made him comparable when he when he did this I would I would like yet stop an idol at bat that would be okay. Responsibilities are informants on the person. That is. Warming. And it pepper inform you need an it workplace rules are. And and what would constitute harassment. And again it is figuring out who leaked out and you do a certain level of responsibility. Day and we'd stop at our that would and have reported are. You have to have that that bar where you are. Shedding people to report that behavior. There acting capped a policy are ongoing training and educate and there. You know Amy I'm sure that there would be some cases of abuse on the part of a woman by claiming it when it doesn't exist. But for the most part I think is probably a good thing to do is create an awareness and in and everyone certainly deserves to be. In Vietnam. A stress free work environment. But you know that could be some other negative repercussions of it a lot text and and one of them says. To be completely safe we just don't hire women. Could then be a negative unintended consequence of this whole thing commences say look I'm more come Eric sales I don't know whether to breathe I don't know. I'm a model woman I Jairo she gets promoted and all the sudden you know she's claimant sectional rally is more trouble as what dodges harmony. Higher entirely different show. On because that. And up on the can't warrant different back a liability for entered discriminate and they. And that there on your and more divers are. Get there. That an addiction to. You know gender. Believed then and ethnicity that the more productive and then more than what you work and are going to be. Certainly I like herbs are women is not in here. It is complying with the law creating a work incarnate the street from Iraq and that's not. They a lot on your collar and let her might be say it and women be over is it possible manor and acting well. I'll add and a little hyper and that about them they're yours. And we we just got a couple of minutes left how important is it to develop in the policy that handbook. A chapter or a couple of pages may be devoted to sexual harassment. I'll I'd wait and the pilot pilot and tired back there it. It critical you know it starts with a policy but I'll do any good at on a shell collection dot. So it has the weird at the ongoing training education. And happy talk about an in the workplace. Is it that more. It's the cultural. Without talked a lot about today and you know more and more people are going to be speaking out about it are really important for business owners to do quick check. In the and there is anything but for the immediate. Help on the LB. So you know what I mentioned yard collar because. If it does carpet in the year partly Adam. As some great advice and really enjoyed the conversation name in hopes of people took away some good information to take to their workplace thanks so much to meaningless. And me back today to founder and owner of HR Knoll LLC and if you don't have a policy at your company on May be I wanna get in touch with amien got some people here that. Are looking to that information I'll get it would come back from the break I'll put them now also we come back we're gonna be joined by an attorney who handles sexual harassment cases. Victim for roads you'll join us. And you can call us at five all 4260187. ER text your message to 87870. I'm Don Dickinson Noual Norman you're listening to the big day seven EW WL back run after the CBS news update. And the topic this hour sexual harassment the meat team to movement. Trying to get to the bottom out and asking this question are pretty opinion poll do you know what sexual harassment is 83% of our respondents now say they do 17% which includes me says no they do not I do not have a full and complete understanding and I think I know really how many people that do. Some of that of course is very clear cut other. Not so clear and some you know may be really just outright not sexual harassment there's some people believe it is. Anyway we get a lot of text messages in questions and comments for our last guest Amy barker she's not with us anymore but I you can reach our NHR Knoll a have a telephone number here are given out a second when you get something ready to uploaded down on. But I'm sure you can Google and HR or Noelle and they do HR and compliance and from businesses it's a human resources consulting company of the telephone number to get touches Bible for. 7999197799919. Seven and amid a lot of questions about what is what is not in the of course you've got what may be but what is legal and what is not legal. So that's why have brought in an attorney who handles sexual harassment cases was to victims rouge victims thanks for being was appreciate it. Well you're welcome Don as my pleasure to be with here. Tell us what tell legally what does the law say about sexual acts. Well sexual harassment is a violation of titled. And title seven's been around since the 1964. And when it was first half. They were just going after her. The racial discrimination. Laws weren't in employment and days there duplicated here and discrimination based on projects in an ethnic before act. And but it took years before sexual harassment was determined to be. Discrimination because of sects and the cases. Eventually evolved to. To. A point where the employers. We're not being held responsible for many things and in 1998. The Supreme Court and the cases of Ella and shared her. They. They set the standard for war is sexual harassment and and win our employers responsible. Now one thing he used he must understand that there's there's a law. That is. That prevent sexual harassment by employers. The first you have to have an important that's covered by law and that is like 54. Federal. Cases on the federal law and then they lost twenty employees. So sexual harassment a lot of them like smaller employers. And so if the conduct is. On welcome to. And it is. You know because of prospects. That could be quid pro cool. Witches does for that like you know sleep with media and you'll get a promotion that the quid pro quo kind of sexual harassment or can just the confidence that apology it could be offhand comment. Sexual connotations. And about the conduct has to be severe or pervasive. And and so can't just be an offhand comment or. The casual way. Would you like to date night they know and and that's the in the that does not factually correct. That's pretty strong warrants severe and pervasive now appear or corporal Andre Savard could be bold but. At the same time mom. And employer I guess can set Mora stringent. Regulations in their policy where it when you're dealing with his legal status when somebody's liable and I'll probably open to lawsuits and then that kind of those type of charges where. Something may just be one offhand comment but it's an employer deems that is being sexual harassment according to the handbook then they can take some action without him and go to law. Well absolutely well. The the law under these cases these Ella cancer cases they gave employers affirmative defense. And that is that they have a they took reasonable. Care to prevent and correct properly any progress in behavior. And other employers have to have a policy in place and they have to. The they have to take actions proper action to correct. When they get a complaint about it and input there is that one responsible Leo on the employers' side. That's their defense but the on the police side. They have to reasonably. Take advantage of the mechanism that the employer has put in place in other words that the sexual harassment policy says you have to go complain. You know to the age are or. Or. Another supervisor that's not indication harassment then he you have to complaint of the employer the employer is not responsible if it doesn't know are effective. Classy classic Vick to stay within got to take a break we come back don't want to talk about how frequent or how common is off frivolous. Lawsuits in the nature of sexual harassment in that arena will be right back with talk into victim through Asia. Attorney that handles sexual harassment cases I guess in this day and age it could be a new special deal law will be right back listening to the big 870. Kabila meal. And we're talking about sexual harassment doling galaxies almost we have a special guest joining is Victor for rouge oh with a vague and defer rouge a law firm here in New Orleans and Victor I'm just like Amy I'm getting a lot of text messages for information about you people wanna contact you. Before I forget would you give out your contact information. Yes my telephone number it is. Travel 45250250. I I've got a couple of questions bud and before I get to those wanna go to a couple of called oceans they brought us some good questions to let's go to James in Saint Bernard on we just lost two games. James Young not okay calls bags Angel we do have Bob them bomb goes on I'm one thank you see a column by. Bob. Well Bob is having a different conversations Ohio and get them back victim here was my questions first of all won a lawsuit does a car. Is it generally against the employers are the employee he or sometimes both. Well I think is against the employer because. Title and and the state law. That prevent sexual harassment or both laws that prevent. Employers from discriminate. And he brought so they're very losses on sexual harassment against employers. And then nemesis of the person individual. No they. They don't unless there's some kind of physical contact. Well it because ultimately. Like a battery long but as far as the harassment it would be on the employment and that's including. You're right and that's why the employer has of these defenses that they have their policy but there's one exception to there and having it. Had descent and that is strict liability if the they harass or is that supervisor. Direct supervisor somebody in that chain and also if it culminates in a tangible employment action. In other words if there if if they get fired. There's sexual ransom by his supervisor. And then you get fired. They don't get there the because of that the courts does that world district liability there. And I understood. Oh my next question was dealing with the of these the how common frivolous sexual harassment lawsuit sought and also about the possibility of countersued sits in fact. It is found to be of fraud fraudulent but charged but let me get Bob he's back with us now I want to tell his story to use victim buyer in saint and on thank you Bob. Work. Oh. Oh. It. Water. Oh. Jerk or. I. That. I. Yeah. 00. Yeah. Where. Awards show they. That. Or. I. Well. Oh. Well I don't know of victim what advice would did you given Bob thirty years ago said it happened to we have on the grounds for McConnell lawsuit. Okay well Bob. If you would. You know if you would explain your employer that that you work complimenting him them on addressed. And if the if the employees complain view it that does unwelcome I really don't want. These kind of compliment from me that you model stopping. So they've never told you that they're offended by it. Then he you know he should be very important that well I didn't notice was offensive. But you know coaches using common sense on commenting on someone draft I mean think they have the right to address the way they want a draft. And you have the right to compliment them on it but he can't make them feel comfortable. Where is. Kind of sexual connotation that while liberal sexy dresses have on something like that. Right so they don't. And I gotta get to a break you stay with me wanna get to James is call and he's got a question point I got a whole bunch of wanna tactful would try again as many as we can. You're listening to the normal woman show on Donna dukes filling in on the big 870 WW. I very limited time here victim winless skid Jane James if you could very briefly describe your your situation amid doing get a comment on. Very quick so my wife says and or local what you are seeing duke court charge nurse and another nurse approached our. An extra if she wanted to be said that one of them they producer for the web casting out which is a port web site. She wanted to being a movie are all becoming big news after she wanted to be a porn movie. She if she reported it to the BP. For hospital as well being of your hospital. They took no action on the premise that we tell them in court which apology was forty years old. Can stop the complaint with Yossi. Believe they are seeing. Everybody but by EC which control and they take that the two years to investigate. James what run out of time have you talked a private attorney about it. Victor is that what he should do. I think Asia yet I think he should do that especially appease him in the properties haven't. Getting. Effective action. I'm very good victims that were on a Tom thanks so much I got so many text message sea of people. They UN demand let me tell you use you know gonna and a very lucrative field regulation telephone number again one more time. Proper. 525. Rewrote the part zero and thanks for taking the time out to be with us today we really appreciate it. Dork and have a great weekend and I go we come back after this is our number two watching apparent being surged Bristow costs what does that do to a child. Joel Pinto sheath of Jefferson joins us next.