Optional Sexual Harassment Training Scenarios (Supervisor Version)

Office Environment

If You Can't Take the Heat...

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Joanne quits after complaining about potential sexual harassment.

This scenario discusses issues involving hostile environment harassment, constructive discharge and unlawful retaliation.

The Demanding Boss

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Betty worries that she won't get the raise she deserves unless she gives in to Frank's requests.

This scenario discusses quid pro quo harassment and the importance of proper documentation of employee performance and conduct.

The Bonus Pool

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Angela objects to her share of the bonus pool after her supervisor holds a meeting at a strip club.

This scenario reinforces concepts concerning inappropriate statements in the workplace, excluding women from work-related functions, proper documentation and the importance of basing workplace decisions on non-discriminatory factors.

R U Serious?

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The organization begins an investigation, including a review of emails and text messages, after it receives a complaint of disability discrimination.

This scenario reinforces that all workplace communications must be in compliance with anti-harassment policies.

Members Only

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Joelle complains that she was selected to be transferred because of her race and gender.

This scenario reinforces that supervisors must follow your policies with respect to complaints of potential discrimination or harassment and must limit disclosure of complaint-related information.

Calendar Conundrum

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Beth's co-workers react after she complains about a suggestive calendar posted in the workplace.

This scenario discusses both the elements that could contribute towards creating an unlawfully hostile environment and the issue of unlawful retaliation.

Senior-itis

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Richard complains about age discrimination after hearing co-workers' comments and being denied training opportunities.

This scenario explores a potentially unlawful hostile environment created by age-biased comments and conduct.

Document-ary

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An investigation of a claim that Sam violated the anti-harassment policy focuses on Sam's documentation of employee performance.

This scenario illustrates how important it is for supervisors to correctly document employee performance and base employment decisions on legitimate, business-related criteria.

Revenge is Sweet?

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Sharon is subjected to retaliation by her co-workers and denied a promotion after she complains about anti-Semitic conduct in her workplace.

This scenario reinforces the importance of preventing unlawful retaliation by co-workers and supervisors.

The Holiday Party

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Bill's explicit jokes at the holiday party don't make everyone laugh.

This scenario reinforces that, for purposes of unlawful harassment, a workplace environment can extend to outside, work related functions.

Furious Frank

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After being discharged for insubordination, Frank reveals that a hearing loss may be responsible for his workplace conduct.

This scenario stresses the importance of proper documentation of performance issues.

Cindy's Slip Up

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Cindy mistakenly sends an instant message containing a joke about older employees to the wrong person.

This scenario stresses the importance of using care in workplace communications, including electronic communications.

Freida's Complaint

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Co-workers harass Fred after he begins the process of gender reassignment.

This scenario discusses gender identity discrimination.

Friendly Customer

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Melissa complains that a regular customer has been acting inappropriately and making her uncomfortable.

This scenario discusses whether non-employees can create an unlawful, hostile environment.

Homecoming Foul

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Jon and Rob's instant messages contribute to potential sexual harassment.

This scenario reinforces that electronic communications must be treated with the same care as all other workplace communication.

The Interview

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Did Jim cross the line when interviewing Kate?

This scenario explains that anti-harassment protection extends to applicants and discusses the differences between appropriate and inappropriate workplace behavior.

Alex Drops the Ball

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A group of employees complain that their supervisor has made biased statements and included them in a layoff because of their race.

This scenario discusses biased statements in the workplace and the importance of proper documentation of performance issues.

Workplace Environmental Pollution

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Judy is made uncomfortable by age-biased statements made by a non-employee in the workplace.

This scenario discusses the role non-employees can play in creating an unlawful, hostile environment.

Dating or Harassing?

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Anna's supervisor promises she will receive a bonus if she dates him.

This scenario explores the prohibitions against sexual harassment and discusses the meaning of "unwelcome" conduct.

Promotion Problems

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Several female employees complain that their supervisor, a key employee in the organization, sexually harassed them.

This scenario emphasizes that harassment prevention policies apply to staff at all levels, that harassment complaints must be taken seriously and that retaliation for complaining about potential harassment is prohibited.

Away Game

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Was Julie sexually harassed if the conduct occurred away from the office?

This scenario discusses issues involving both hostile environment harassment and quid pro quo harassment.

The Assignment

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Mike complains of age discrimination because Isaac, a younger and less qualified co-worker, was assigned to an audit instead of him.

This scenario illustrates the importance of making employment decisions based on legitimate, objective criteria and ensuring that all communications sent through workplace servers are treated as workplace communications.

Albert's Aggravated

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Albert speaks to his supervisor because he is concerned about the way he is being treated by his co-workers after he is given a coveted assignment.

This scenario discusses abusive conduct in the workplace and the effect it can have on the victim and other employees in the workplace.

Hostile or Humorous?

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Kara complained that a co-worker's "jokes" were discriminatory and demeaning towards women.

This scenario addresses the effect potentially discriminatory "jokes" can have on creating an unlawful hostile environment.

Healthcare/Hospital Environment

The Interview

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Did Jim cross the line when interviewing Kate?

This scenario explains that anti-harassment protection extends to applicants and discusses the differences between appropriate and inappropriate workplace behavior.

Furious Frank

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After being discharged for insubordination, Frank reveals that a hearing loss may be responsible for his workplace conduct.

This scenario stresses the importance of proper documentation of performance issues.

Technical/Industrial Environment

Alex Drops the Ball

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A group of employees complain that their supervisor has made biased statements and included them in a layoff because of their race.

This scenario discusses biased statements in the workplace and the importance of proper documentation of performance issues.

The Touchy Supervisor

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Tony's friendly behavior makes one of the employees he supervises uncomfortable.

This scenario discusses the differences between sexual and non-sexual conduct with respect to sexual harassment and reinforces the prohibition against unlawful retaliation.

Furious Frank

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After being discharged for insubordination, Frank reveals that a hearing loss may be responsible for his workplace conduct.

This scenario stresses the importance of proper documentation of performance issues.

Restaurants/Food Service Environment

Is the Customer Right?

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Jamie feels he is being discriminated against because of his religion, but his supervisor claims he is trying to anticipate customer preferences.

This scenario discusses whether customer preferences can provide a legitimate reason for potential discrimination.

Workplace Environmental Pollution

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Judy is made uncomfortable by age-biased statements made by a non-employee in the workplace.

This scenario discusses the role non-employees can play in creating an unlawful, hostile environment.

The Touchy Supervisor

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Was George a harasser or just friendly?

This scenario explores the differences between appropriate, inappropriate and unlawful conduct.

Friendly Customer

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Melissa complains that a regular customer has been acting inappropriately and making her uncomfortable.

This scenario discusses whether non-employees can create an unlawful, hostile environment.

Schools/Title IX Environment

Discussion or Discrimination?

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Kara complained that a professor's assigned reading list was discriminatory and demeaning towards women.

In an academic setting, this scenario discusses hostile environment discrimination.

Dating or Harassing?

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Anna's teaching assistant promises she will pass the class if she dates him.

In an academic setting, this scenario describes the prohibitions against sexual harassment, including discussing the meaning of "unwelcome" conduct.

Professorial Problems

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Several female students complain that a prominent professor sexually harassed them.

In an academic setting, this scenario emphasizes that harassment prevention policies apply to faculty and staff at all levels, that harassment complaints must be taken seriously and that retaliation for complaining about potential harassment is prohibited.