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Today's Workplace

Ask Jack: Should We Allow Employees To Play Games On Their Laptops?

An employer wants to keep employees happy. One idea is to allow employees to game during work breaks. Jack examines the cyber risks.

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Ask Jack: If There Is No Evidence Of Data Being Stolen, Can I Still Be Held Responsible?

Jack McCalmon talks about the importance of not just post-breach exposures, but pre-breach exposures as well.

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Ask Jack: What Prevention Steps Are Missing Regarding Cybersecurity?

Most cyber breaches are due to human error. Jack McCalmon explains why training and an "all of the above" strategy is the right move for cybersecurity.

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Basic Keys For Mitigating Sexual Harassment Liability

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reached a settlement in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against a nationwide home improvement retailer.

In the lawsuit, the EEOC alleged the management at an Arizona location failed to address years of sexual harassment against female employees.

The settlement includes a $700,000 payment to the three women affected by the harassment, as well as a three-year consent decree that calls for several actions to prevent future sexual harassment. The employer agrees to update its anti-discrimination policies, develop a comprehensive process to investigate reports of harassment, train employees on sexual harassment and the investigative process, and provide the EEOC with regular reports on its efforts and any subsequent harassment complaints.

Attorneys for the EEOC emphasize that it is an employer's legal responsibility to address claims of harassment quickly. In doing so, employers will also promote a positive and productive work environment. "Lowe's to Pay $700,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Discrimination Lawsuit" (Sep. 16, 2022).


The risk arose not so much from the harassment itself, but from the employer’s failure to take steps to respond to reports of harassment and to stop it.

Equal employment laws, federal and state, require employers to address discrimination, including harassment, in a reasonable and timely manner. Failure to do so can lead to liability.

In addition to addressing charges as they are made, another key to addressing sexual harassment is your reporting process. Employers should provide multiple avenues to report disruptive and harassing behavior, and conduct regular employee training that educates all staff on reporting options.

Also, make sure all employees, particularly managers, understand that you “want to know” of any harassing or bullying conduct, and to never hesitate to communicate a work situation that is unsettling or disruptive to those authorized in your workplace who can cause an investigation.

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