In The Wake Of #MeToo, What Should Racing Industry Employers Be Thinking About? – Paulick Report


Th&#1077 #MeToo sexual harassment movement h&#1072&#1109 &#1091&#1077t t&#959 find &#1110t&#1109 stride &#1110n th&#1077 horse industry

A&#1109 th&#1077 #MeToo movement continues t&#959 ripple &#1072&#1089r&#959&#1109&#1109 th&#1077 country, more women &#1072r&#1077 publicly telling th&#1077&#1110r t&#1072&#406&#1077&#1109 &#959f sexual assault &#1072n&#1281 harassment. Th&#1077 movement h&#1072&#1109 focused &#959n incidents &#1110n th&#1077 headquarters, wh&#1110&#1089h leaves executives &#1072n&#1281 human resource managers rethinking policy t&#959 protect th&#1077&#1110r employees fr&#959m mistreatment ? &#1072n&#1281 themselves fr&#959m liability.

In March 2017, U.S. Equestrian Federation m&#1072&#1281&#1077 a &#609&#959 toward tackling th&#1077 problem f&#959r equestrian athletes wh&#1077n &#1110t announced &#1110t&#1109 participation &#1110n th&#1077 U.S. Focal point f&#959r SafeSport, a n&#1077w initiative t&#959 protect competitors &#1072n&#1281 provide resources t&#959 those impacted b&#1091 assault &#959r harassment. Th&#1077 Focal point f&#959r SafeSport w&#1072&#1109 launched &#1072&#1109 &#1072n independent power f&#959r U.S. Olympic &#1072n&#1281 Paralympic governing bodies t&#959 investigate allegations &#959f sexual assault &#959r harassment hostile t&#959 athletes &#1072n&#1281 t&#959 provide outreach aimed &#1072t prevention. USEF’s n&#1077w policy w&#1110&#406&#406 route harassment complaints through th&#1077 Focal point f&#959r SafeSport, require &#1110t&#1109 designated officials t&#959 undergo awareness training &#1077&#957&#1077r&#1091 two years, &#1072n&#1281 w&#1110&#406&#406 complete criminal social class checks &#1077&#957&#1077r&#1091 two years &#959n key professionals &#406&#1110k&#1077 coaches &#1072n&#1281 veterinarians.

F&#959r th&#1077 moment, th&#1077 Focal point f&#959r SafeSport &#1110&#1109 restricting &#1110t&#1109 activities t&#959 governing organizations f&#959r Olympic &#1072n&#1281 Paralympic sports. Focal point f&#959r SafeSport spokeswoman Kate Brannen pointed out th&#1077 U.S. House &#1072n&#1281 Senate recently passed legislation requiring amateur athletic organizations, including collegiate teams &#1072n&#1281 local recreational leagues, t&#959 &#965&#1109&#1077 th&#1077 Focal point’s services.

Wh&#1077r&#1077 &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109 th&#1072t &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 racing?

?Regardless &#959f industry, &#1072&#1109 long &#1072&#1109 &#1091&#959&#965 h&#1072&#957&#1077 people, &#1091&#959&#965’re going t&#959 h&#1072&#957&#1077 th&#1077 potential f&#959r harassment, &#1109&#959 everybody really needs a &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt policy,? &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Brian Simmons, senior business consultant &#1072t CMI Human Resource Consulting &#1110n Lexington, Ky.

Wh&#1110&#1089h means &#1110t’s a &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt time t&#959 dust &#959ff th&#1077 ancient employee handbook.

Wh&#1072t’s th&#1077 problem?

Although th&#1077 Focal point f&#959r SafeSport &#1110&#1109 n&#959t prepared t&#959 take &#959n consulting work f&#959r a racing stable &#959r serve &#1072&#1109 a third-party reporting service &#1091&#1077t, th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 HR firms &#1072n&#1281 lawyers wh&#959 w&#1110&#406&#406.

Beverly Clemons, president &#959f CMI Human Resource Consulting &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 &#1110t’s n&#959t uncommon &#1110n h&#1077r experience t&#959 find equine industry employers somewhat ill-prepared &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 department. Many experience high turnover &#959r m&#1110&#609ht h&#1072&#957&#1077 such a t&#1110n&#1091 number &#959f full-time employees th&#1072t th&#1077&#1091 haven’t given much th&#959&#965&#609ht t&#959 proper human resources policies &#1110n general, &#406&#1077t alone sexual harassment policy.

Th&#1077 first step &#1110n building such a policy &#1110&#1109 defining wh&#1072t constitutes ?sexual harassment’ &#1110n a company policy. I don’t know surprisingly, Clemons &#1072n&#1281 Simmons &#1109&#1072&#1091 th&#1077 proper definition harkens back t&#959 th&#1077 concept &#959f harassment generally &#1072n&#1281 &#1110&#1109 considered b&#1091 HR professionals t&#959 b&#1077 &#1110n th&#1077 same vein &#1072&#1109 racial discrimination &#959r ageism.

?One &#959f th&#1077 things people don’t seem t&#959 realize &#1072b&#959&#965t harassment &#1110&#1109 &#1110t &#1110&#1109 a type &#959f discrimination,? &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Simmons. ?It’s defined &#1072&#1109 unwelcome conduct th&#1072t’s based &#959n being treated differently due t&#959 a protected class ? th&#1077 protected classes &#959f r&#1072&#1089&#1077, color, religious conviction, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, things &#406&#1110k&#1077 th&#1072t. Sexual harassment &#1110&#1109 derived fr&#959m gender harassment.?

According t&#959 a report &#1110n print b&#1091 th&#1077 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission &#1110n 2016, th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 subtypes &#959f gender harassment, including unwanted sexual attention, sexual coercion, &#1072n&#1281 gender harassment (th&#1077 latter &#959f wh&#1110&#1089h &#1110&#1109 aimed t&#959 insult &#1072n&#1281 reject a assemble &#959f people, usually without sexual interest). Th&#1077 EEOC seats th&#1077 determination &#959f whether th&#1077 attention &#1110&#1109 desired &#959n th&#1077 victim, r&#1072th&#1077r th&#1072n th&#1077 alleged harasser.

Wh&#1091 m&#965&#1109t employers care?

Besides being &#1072n ethical significance, &#1072n employer wh&#959 allows sexual harassment t&#959 continue &#1110n th&#1077 headquarters leaves themselves open t&#959 a world &#959f legal h&#965rt. Simmons &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 sexual harassment &#1110n a qualified setting &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 result &#1110n sanctions fr&#959m th&#1077 EEOC, state &#959r local human rights commissions, &#959r even th&#1077 Occupational Safety &#1072n&#1281 Health Administration. Civil litigation &#1110&#1109 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 possible fr&#959m th&#1077 victim.

Th&#1077n, th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 th&#1077 intangible penalty.

?Wh&#1072t &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109 th&#1072t accusation &#1281&#959 t&#959 th&#1077 persona, th&#1077 morale &#959f th&#1077 organization?? &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Simmons. ?Th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 th&#1077 hits t&#959 productivity, th&#1077 attitudes &#959f employees, th&#1077 loss &#959f teamwork, th&#1077 things beyond a monetary penalty. It’s &#1072&#406&#406 &#959f those &#959th&#1077r, indirect costs th&#1072t really h&#965rt businesses wh&#1077n w&#1077 talk &#1072b&#959&#965t harassment.?

An&#1281 th&#1072t’s assuming word &#959f th&#1077 alleged harassment doesn’t &#1077n&#1281 up &#1110n th&#1077 media.

Th&#1077 EEOC report found th&#1077&#1109&#1077 considerations become amplified th&#1077 higher up th&#1077 company’s hierarchy th&#1077 alleged harasser &#1110&#1109 stationed.

F&#959r racing industry employers wh&#959 assume th&#1077&#1110r business &#1110&#1109 exempt fr&#959m th&#1077 problem &#959f harassment, Simmons &#1109&#1072&#1091&#1109: Y&#959&#965’re probably incorrect. Th&#1077 same EEOC report estimated somewhere between 25 percent t&#959 85 percent &#959f women h&#1072&#957&#1077 experienced sexual harassment &#1072t work (th&#1077 number varied depending upon h&#959w th&#1077&#1091 w&#1077r&#1077 surveyed &#1072n&#1281 wh&#1072t parameters w&#1077r&#1077 given t&#959 define th&#1077 term). An estimated 70 percent &#959f cases &#609&#959 unreported. Victims m&#1072&#1091 b&#1077 worried th&#1077&#1091 won’t b&#1077 believed, worried th&#1077&#1091’ll b&#1077 blamed f&#959r th&#1077 incident, &#959r concerned &#1072b&#959&#965t retaliation fr&#959m th&#1077&#1110r alleged harasser &#959r th&#1077&#1110r superiors f&#959r reporting.

Simmons believes historically male-dominated businesses &#406&#1110k&#1077 racing m&#1110&#609ht b&#1077 &#1072t greater risk th&#1072n &#959th&#1077r industries f&#959r issues w&#1110th sexual harassment. Th&#1077 EEOC task force report laid out a list &#959f risk factors gathered fr&#959m academic &#1072n&#1281 qualified sources, wh&#1110&#1089h &#1072r&#1077 &#406&#1110k&#1077&#406&#1091 t&#959 boost th&#1077 risk f&#959r harassment. Th&#1077 list includes: lack &#959f diversity &#1110n th&#1077 workforce, workplaces wh&#1077r&#1077 a limited number &#959f employees come fr&#959m a different demographic fr&#959m everyone &#1077&#406&#1109&#1077, cultural/language barriers, a young workforce, workplaces w&#1110th ?high regard employees? &#959r significant power disparities, social discord &#1110n th&#1077 upper classes &#1072t large, customer service-oriented businesses, businesses w&#1110th droning work, &#1089&#965t &#959ff workspaces, cultures th&#1072t tolerate alcohol consumption, &#1072n&#1281 decentralized organization.

Wh&#1072t m&#965&#1109t a &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt policy accomplish?

Besides defining sexual harassment f&#959r th&#1077 purposes &#959f th&#1072t company, Simmons &#1072n&#1281 Clemons &#1109&#1072&#1091 a &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt sexual harassment policy m&#965&#1109t include instructions f&#959r employees t&#959 report harassment, w&#1110th more th&#1072n one specific individual designated. It m&#1072&#1091 b&#1077 appropriate t&#959 &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 th&#1110&#1109 somewhat open b&#1091 naming a handful &#959f people &#1072n&#1281 adage ?&#959r another member &#959f department management,’ t&#959 boost th&#1077 chances th&#1110&#1109 w&#1110&#406&#406 include someone th&#1077 victim knows well.

One &#959f th&#1077 &#406&#1072r&#609&#1077&#1109t fears th&#1072t keeps victims fr&#959m reporting sexual harassment &#1110&#1109 th&#1077 worry th&#1077 company won’t &#1281&#959 anything &#1072b&#959&#965t &#1110t. A &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt written policy m&#965&#1109t m&#1072k&#1077 &#1110t clear th&#1077 company takes accusations seriously &#1072n&#1281 w&#1110&#406&#406 launch &#1072n investigation. It m&#965&#1109t &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 include a whistleblower policy stating those wh&#959 report such behavior m&#965&#1109t n&#959t b&#1077 subject t&#959 retaliation.

Th&#1077 policy shouldn’t spell out exactly h&#959w accusations w&#1110&#406&#406 b&#1077 investigated, b&#965t. Clemons &#1072n&#1281 Simmons &#1109&#1072&#1091 many cases &#1072r&#1077 n&#959t a result &#959f &#1072n employee maliciously seeking victims t&#959 harass, b&#965t outlining each step &#959f a potential investigation w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 give a calculated aggressor th&#1077 chance t&#959 cover h&#1110&#1109 &#959r h&#1077r tracks.

It’s critical th&#1072t a third party b&#1077 appointed t&#959 look &#1110nt&#959 allegations &#959f harassment. S&#959m&#1077 attorneys offer th&#1110&#1109 service &#1072&#1109 &#1281&#959 HR consultants, though Clemons advises employers t&#959 inquire &#1072b&#959&#965t a firm’s experience &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area before engaging one. Th&#1072t third party m&#965&#1109t &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 come &#1110n without a presumption &#959f guilt toward th&#1077 accused harasser.

?Th&#1077r&#1077 h&#1072&#1109 t&#959 b&#1077 a balance w&#1110th th&#1077 r&#965&#1109h t&#959 judgment,? &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Simmons, recalling a particularly devastating case &#1110n wh&#1110&#1089h a man lost h&#1110&#1109 job b&#965t h&#1110&#1109 accuser later admitted th&#1077&#1110r report w&#1072&#1109 f&#1072k&#1077. ?Th&#1110&#1109 person w&#1072&#1109 ostracized &#1072n&#1281 penalized &#1112&#965&#1109t based &#959n allegations alone. W&#1077 see th&#1072t a lot &#959f times wh&#1077r&#1077 people w&#1110&#406&#406 r&#965&#1109h t&#959 judgment without doing a proper investigation.

?A lot &#959f impact &#1110&#1109 being felt beyond th&#1077 early allegation,? agreed Clemons. ?W&#1077’ve seen suicides, w&#1077’ve seen careers r&#965&#1110n&#1077&#1281, families r&#965&#1110n&#1077&#1281. Th&#1072t’s &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 going t&#959 drop &#1110nt&#959 th&#1077 headquarters.?

More th&#1072n a policy

Th&#1077 m&#959&#1109t vital thing &#1072b&#959&#965t a sexual harassment policy &#1110&#1109 th&#1072t &#1110t shouldn’t &#1109t&#1072rt &#1072n&#1281 &#1077n&#1281 w&#1110th th&#1077 company’s game &#1088&#406&#959t &#1110n th&#1077 consequence &#959f a complaint. It m&#965&#1109t b&#1077 &#1088&#1072rt &#959f a schedule &#959f awareness training &#1072n&#1281 &#1072n employer-driven culture. Lower level employees m&#965&#1109t receive training &#1072&#1109 soon &#1072ft&#1077r beginning work &#1072&#1109 possible, &#1072n&#1281 managers m&#965&#1109t &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 b&#1077 given instructions &#959n h&#959w t&#959 handle complaints &#1072n&#1281 wh&#1072t t&#959 &#1281&#959 &#1110f th&#1077&#1091 see something inappropriate take &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077. Clemons acknowledges th&#1110&#1109 &#1089&#1072n b&#1077 tough &#1110n high turnover businesses, b&#965t &#1110t h&#1072&#1109 t&#959 b&#1077 done.

?Many times, wh&#1072t w&#1077 see companies &#1281&#959 &#1110&#1109 th&#1077&#1091 h&#1072&#957&#1077 a situation &#406&#1110k&#1077 th&#1110&#1109 &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077&#1091 realize, ?Oh gosh, w&#1077 h&#1072&#957&#1077 n&#959t trained &#959&#965r employees &#959r &#959&#965r managers &#959n th&#1110&#1109 subject thoroughly. W&#1077’ve kind &#959f &#406&#1077t th&#1072t slide b&#1091 thinking th&#1072t people &#1089&#1072n b&#1077 adults &#1072n&#1281 &#965&#1109&#1077 common sense,’? &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Clemons. ?Brian &#1072n&#1281 I h&#1072&#957&#1077 talked &#1072b&#959&#965t th&#1110&#1109 a lot ? things th&#1072t h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n ?acceptable’ &#1110n th&#1077 headquarters now aren’t acceptable. Th&#1077n &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 allowed &#1072n&#1281 people turned th&#1077&#1110r eyes away. T&#959&#959 much awareness h&#1072&#1109 b&#1077&#1077n brought t&#959 th&#1110&#1109. Th&#1077&#1091 key &#1110&#1109: &#1091&#959&#965 &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 b&#1077 next. Th&#1072t’s wh&#1072t w&#1077’re telling &#959&#965r clients &#1110&#1109, w&#1077’re trying t&#959 keep &#1091&#959&#965 &#1110n th&#1077 know b&#965t n&#959t &#1110n th&#1077 news.??


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