Sexual Harassment & Interpreting

Sexual harassment is a very big issue on the minds of most people this year. The list of Hollywood power players accused of harassment or abuse is immense, perhaps only outdone by the list of politicians. What makes the story all the more interesting is that fact that more and more women have mustered the courage to stand up and confront it.

Considering that we live in a highly litigious society in the United States, it is no surprise that more and more companies see the need to protect themselves by enacting stronger sexual and workplace harassment policies and training. Ashley Alford won $95 million in a harassment case! Rena Weeks was awarded $71 million. Carla C. Ingraham was awarded $10.6 million, and the list is long!

In fact, we are familiar with several great lawyers who specialize in providing harassment awareness classes. Attorneys are especially suited for this kind of work because they understand the intricacies of the law and encourage companies to become compliant and provide a safe work environment (please see the blog of one of our attorney partners, Peter Rutledge).

What if you have a multilingual, limited English workforce? In order to avoid potential liabilities that slip through the language gap, companies need to ensure that every employee understands company policies and receives effective training. Companies cannot assume that employees who understand just enough “work” English will understand the more technical legal aspects that may be considered in a sexual harassment class.

Under these circumstances, we have partnered with law firms and companies by providing professional conference interpreters familiar with the subject who utilize simultaneous interpreting equipment. Although Spanish is the most common foreign language, we have the capability of providing quality professional interpreters in many languages.

When providing sexual harassment training, make sure your investment achieves its goal by assuring that everyone benefits from the training. It is expensive to invest in workplace harassment training and conference interpreting solutions.  However, only one workplace harassment lawsuit or settlement can cost you between $75,000 to $168 million.  An ounce of prevention is always worth more than a pound of cure.

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