New Book: Sex Based Harassment: Workplace Policies for the Legal Profession

Published by the American Bar Association
Product Code: 4920039
Publication Date: July 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59031-871-3
Page Count: 50
Trim Size: 6 x 9 Paperback

About the Book:

“Sexual harassment remains a prevalent issue in the legal profession. Such harassment has serious implications for lawyers and legal employers, resulting in emotional, physical, and social consequences; lost productivity; increased turnover; impaired reputations; and greater risk of liability and litigation expenses.”

“Growing awareness of these consequences underscores the need for effective policies and programs concerning sex-based harassment. Considerable progress has been made since the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession was founded in 1987, when only about a third of surveyed law firms had sexual harassment policies. But while more recent studies indicate that the vast majority of legal employers, including public sector and educational employers, now have such policies, not all of these policies are adequately designed or effectively implemented in practice. Almost three-quarters of women lawyers believe that harassment is a problem in their workplaces. Reported cases make clear that plainly abusive conduct continues to persist.”

“The legal profession cannot expect to maintain public respect and credibility if it cannot ensure compliance with legal standards and equal opportunity in its own workplaces. Lawyers who engage in harassment impose costs upon their clients as well. Moral fitness is a condition precedent to becoming a lawyer and a requirement for the able advocate and attorney. A client who cannot rely upon his or her attorney’s character cannot fully trust that attorney’s expertise or judgment either. All lawyers thus have a stake in promoting more effective responses to sex-based harassment”.

“This newly-updated and expanded Sex-Based Harassment, Second Edition manual provides an overview of the definition of sex-based harassment and the essential elements. It discusses how to formulate and implement harassment policies, how to respond to a complaint of sex-based harassment, and how to resolve such a complaint. Valuable appendices include a sample sex-based harassment policy and a selected bibliography”.


I. Introduction The Definition and Prevalence of Sex-Based Harassment
The Causes and Costs of Sex-Based Harassment
Sex-Based Harassment and the Law
The Importance of Sex-Based Harassment Policies, Remedies, and Preventive Programs II. Formulating and Implementing Harassment Policies Drafting and Revising a Policy
Communicating and Implementing the Policy
Reviewing the Policy III. Essential Elements of a Policy on Sex-Based Harassment Policy Statement
Definition of Sex-Based Harassment
Identification of Individuals Covered Under the Policy
Consensual Relationships IV. Responses to Complaints of Sex-Based Harassment Reporting a Complaint
Protection Against Retaliation
Investigating a Complaint V. Resolving the Complaint Sanctions
False Accusations VI. Maintaining Written Records of Complaints
VII. Education and Training
VIII. Conclusion
Appendix I – Sample Policy: Sex-Based Harassment
Appendix II – Selected Bibliography on Sex-Based Harassment

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