Sexual Harassment Workshops Raise Awareness

Posted: August 15, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with its Title VII stipulations, U.S. courts have been grappling with the issue of discrimination in the workplace. Ronald Sinacore, affirmative action planning and compliance coordinator in the Equity Office, says that recent court decisions have brought into sharp focus a manager’s responsibility for sexual harassment. He says, “The assumption is if the manager knows [about harassment taking place], then the president [Merten] knows.”

Sinacore, Margaret Howell, equal opportunity specialist and Title IX coordinator, Equity Office, and Carol Henderson, staff development manager, Human Resources, have been conducting workshops on sexual harassment throughout the university over the past year. Although attendance at training sessions is not mandatory, employees are strongly encouraged to attend because awareness of the issue does make an impact. With about half of the university’s units trained so far, the number of reported sexual harassment incidents has declined in the past year.

“The number one thing to remember is to report it to our office,” Sinacore emphasizes. “Managers should not attempt to handle it by themselves. We need to work in partnership.”

For more information on the university’s sexual harassment policy and grievance procedures, see the web site or contact the Equity Office at x38730. To request a training workshop, contact the Equity Office or Human Resources, x32621.

The full story will appear in the September issue of the Mason Gazette.

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