Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sexual Harassment

All the Full Sail staff were required to take a seminar which outlined Full Sail's policies on Sexual Harassment. Kathy Blackmore invited her crack team of instructors from 2D Animation to meet for lunch at Mellow Mushroom on Aloma before the seminar. It's always nice to get together as a crew to laugh, gossip and discuss ways the course might be improved over time. My Hawaiian pizza was delicious. As a crew we then arrived at Full Sail live before anyone else showed up. The back rows were the first to fill up. There was plenty of uncomfortable joking about harassment and slowly the room filled. I left the 2DA crew, thinking I might sketch from the front row. Kathy informed me that much of the presentation would be a video, so I changed my focus and decided to sketch the growing crowd.

Sexual Harassment is bad. It was defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. A lawyer went through his 29 power point slides being sure to read each of the bullet points. About 70% of women and 20% of men have experienced sexual harassment. About 15,000 charges are filed each year. The bottom line was that Full Sail employees must report all harassment if they are aware of it to the Human Resources department or a quick call to the Full Sail president.

The video showed a fictitious court case in which a female employee was filing a sexual harassment charge. She met a guy at a company picnic and they talked. She let slip that she used to work for a 900 number. The audience murmured. The guy kept asking her out and she declined. He parked outside her home one night for several hours. She contacted HR and they suggested the guy stop. He didn't. Eventually the guy was fired, but the woman got cat calls from the rest of the shipping department. She decided she had to leave.

The Full Sail staff were asked to break up into groups of six to act as juries. The interesting thing about the video is that the case left room for interpretation about weather HR had done enough to stop the harassment. The juries all agreed that she was the victim of sexual harassment. They varied widely in the matter of how much to offer in damages. One jury offered $300 in compensatory damages, $300 in punitive damages and $300 in back pay. The video jury offered $75,000 in damages. Larry Lauria on the 2DA jury offered 10 million dollars in damages, but it was a hung jury because no one could agree on the final amount.

1 comment:

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

Interesting case, I'm not sure the company was completely at fault, as a woman... if some guy I met started stalking me, I'd call the POLICE not HR... but that's just me.