A tentative deal is on the horizon for Harvey Weinstein after several groups, including Weinstein’s accusers, reached a $44 million agreement to resolve lawsuit and compensation for the victims of the former film executive.
According to Reuters, the deal centers on several different lawsuits, including the civil rights lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general’s office for failing to protect employees from a hostile work environment and Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.
Protecting employees from sexual harassment
While the deal does not cover the criminal charges brought up against Weinstein, it sets a precedent for employers to act on inappropriate work behavior before it goes too far. For example, Weinstein’s behavior affects the entire film studio plus the studio’s board members. Also, they will have to contribute compensation under the agreement to the accusers.
The state of New York is making a statement out of Weinstein and his former studio to show the affect sexual misconduct has in a work environment. Luckily, New York already has strong standards for sexual harassment prevention for employers, including:
- An extensive training surrounding sexual harassment for the entire staff
- An internal complaint process available to employees through the company
- Inform employees of the complaint process available through the New York State Division of Human Rights and The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Prohibit any forms of retaliation for sexual harassment complaints
- Train managers and supervisors to prevent sexual harassment or retaliation among other staff
Employers also have to record signatures from employees who took training for sexual harassment prevention. It helps ensure all employees understand the policy and know their options if they experience sexual misconduct in the office.
Weinstein is only one example of why it’s necessary to have such strong policies in the workplace, especially in New York. However, polices don’t stop harassment completely. If you experience sexual misconduct, file a complaint immediately and compile evidence to help your case.