The law in New Jersey is clear -- effective sexual harassment training is absolutely essential.  It is essential to ensure a safe, productive, non-hostile work environment.  It is essential to ensure that anti-harassment policies are understood and enforced.  It is essential if an employer intends to rely upon its anti-harassment policies as a defense to a sexual harassment claim.

Part of any effective training program will help employees understand "what is sexual harassment?"  

Sexual harassment can be defined as "unwelcome, unsolicited, conduct of a sexual nature or because of one's sex."

Some examples might include:

Unwanted touching

Unwanted sexual advances

Sexual jokes

Vulgar language

Offensive images

Behavior that makes others feel uncomfortable

This sort of conduct can constitute what is known as "hostile work environment" sexual harassment.  Hostile work environment sexual harassment can be defined as severe and pervasive conduct that has the purpose or effect of creating an offensive work environment for a reasonable person.

Another form of sexual harassment is known as "quid pro quo" or "this for that."  This form of harassment involves a request for sexual favors as a term or condition of employment.

The importance of steps taken to prevent sexual harassment cannot be over-emphasized.  Those steps should include:

Creating a written anti-harassment policy

Ensuring proper dissemnation of the policy

Establishing an effective complaint procedure

Encouraging the reporting of sexual harassment

Ensuring strict prohibition against retaliation

Investigating all complaints promptly and thoroughly

Taking appropriate remdedial action

This is just a thumbnail sketch on the subject.