Nonprofit Radio for March 13, 2020: Sexual Harassment In Nonprofits

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My Guest:

Lisa Brauner: Sexual Harassment In Nonprofits
It’s everywhere. Our community is no exception. In this week when the Harvey Weinstein sentencing is scheduled, we return to the perspective from late October 2017, when the allegations against him had just gone public. Attorney Lisa Brauner provides legal perspective for women and organizations. She’s a partner at Perlman+Perlman in New York City. (Originally aired October 27, 2017)

 

 

 

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[00:00:14.44] spk_2:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio

[00:01:04.16] spk_3:
big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be forced to endure the pain of Sarko Sisto sis, if you infected me with the idea that you missed today’s show. Sexual harassment in nonprofits it’s everywhere. Our community is no exception in this week when the Harvey Weinstein sentencing is scheduled. We returned to the perspective from late October 2017 when the allegations against him had just gone. Public attorney Lisa Bronner provides legal perspective for women and organizations. She’s a partner at Perlman and Pearlman in New York City. In this originally aired October 27th 2017 tony Stick to 20 NTC were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As, guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com But Kudo Mountain Software Denali Fund is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and, by turn, to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot CEO here. Is this a broader and sexual harassment in nonprofits?

[00:03:46.96] spk_4:
Sexual harassment, The most recent revelations and national attention started with producer Harvey Weinstein, then the California State Legislature, where 115 legislators, staffers and lobbyists signed an open letter of complaint. The next I saw was screenwriter and director James Toback, who has over 300 women accusing him. I know one. Last October, the Access Hollywood tape embarrassed candidate Donald Trump. About two years ago, many women came out against Bill Cosby. Bring it back to this week. A celebrity chef John Besh and a celebrity journalist, Mark Halperin, are incriminated. Both resigned their positions. It’s everywhere. I think we need to talk about this in nonprofits. The guardian dot com has a piece dated 10 2017 titled, He was a senior manager in a global charity. I was 18 when he assaulted me here in the U. S. A Los Angeles Times article is USC Fundraising executive leaves post amid sexual harassment investigation. That’s from 10 11 17. His name is David Carrera. I’d like your stories and comments to be part of our conversation today. You can call the studio at 8774 Aito for 120877 for a tow for 120 or treat us with the hashtag non profit radio hashtag non profit radio were also on Facebook live on the tony-martignetti non profit radio page. Working on getting that up right now. Let’s bring in Lisa Bronner, my guest for the hour. She’s an attorney and partner at prominent Perlman Law firm in New York City. Her focus is employment law advising and representing employers in workplace law related matters. But she also has advice for employees, volunteers and board members. The firm is at Perlman and perlman dot com. It’s p r l P R L Their brothers spelled same way. Could be different. One within you won with the aid, but it’s not p e r l

[00:03:51.05] spk_2:
and they’re at tax exempt lawyer Lisa brother. Welcome.

[00:03:52.43] spk_0:
Thank you. Thanks for coming to the studio. I’m delighted to be here, tony.

[00:04:10.14] spk_4:
Thank you very much. Um, what What? What’s your sense of the prevalence of sexual harassment in non profit? So matter no necessarily numbers, but, uh, as somebody practicing in the in the area. What? What, uh, what’s your feel for this?

[00:04:36.60] spk_0:
I think the issue effects nonprofits justice, it effects for profits. The issue of sexual harassment is an issue dealing with an abuse of power. So when you have ah, you have situations of power dynamic. There are potentially situations where sexual harassment may arise.

[00:04:39.65] spk_4:
Yeah, it’s exploitation of power in a relationship, right? Is unequal power in the relationship?

[00:05:21.73] spk_0:
Yeah. There can be co worker. There can be there can be co worker. Ah, sexual harassment. There can be conduct that’s unwelcome. But what? The things that you were describing Our situations where there is a power dynamic and an abuse of power and justice for profit organizations may not have policies addressing the issue. Non profits as well may have situations where they do not have policies or procedures that address that addressed the topic and that provide a mechanism to address it.

[00:05:48.74] spk_4:
Okay. Okay, um, we’re gonna We’re gonna be talking from the organization perspective. Also, the individual perspective. I did get some comments on the website and by email. Um, so I’ll be sharing those throughout, you know, But let’s, uh I’d like to start with, um, prevention on. I know you do a lot of training in that area for nonprofits. Um what? Let’s Let’s talk about the policy. There ought to be a policy on sexual harassment.

[00:06:01.05] spk_0:
Yes, what

[00:06:01.34] spk_4:
should be in it? What tell Tell us

[00:06:16.20] spk_0:
so a policy regarding sexual harassment should, first of all, not be limited to sexual harassment. But all kinds of unlawful harassment investment that’s based on someone’s legally protected category could be race religion categories that various laws recognize as worthy of legal protection,

[00:06:22.49] spk_4:
orientation, sexual orientation,

[00:07:07.52] spk_0:
orientation, different things like that. So the policy should set out examples of what sexual harassment, what kinds of conduct could constitute sexual harassment. Welcome physical conduct, verbal conduct, unwelcome visual conduct, visual things that could be pictures. Posters could be pornography in the workplace. So the policy should set out what kinds of things give example so that employees and their supervisors understand about what kinds of things could caught could constitute sexual harassment to give examples of the type of behavior that the organization prohibit.

[00:07:08.01] spk_4:
Yeah, what are we talking about? Basically, this is what I’m not asking. You mean essentially, What are we talking about? What kind of conduct behaviors are we talking

[00:07:15.74] spk_0:
about? Okay, so the posse should give examples of what it is. Okay? The policy should also have a complaint procedure and tell employees where they need to go, who they should contact

[00:07:32.80] spk_4:
specifically. Like here’s the phone number. Here is the address of email, maybe address. If it’s an off site location. Here’s the person’s name. I mean, not just contact a supervisor that’s sounds inadequate.

[00:08:24.24] spk_0:
Well, it may be. Contact. Contact a supervisor or contact your supervisor and contact. Human resource is okay. Sometimes the policies will include a phone number or an email, but not always the case. It may be contact wth E. Contact the human Resources Department or contact the director of Human Resource is okay contact in the event it’s It’s your supervisor who’s engaged in who you believe has violated the policy. Contact another supervisor and and or contact human resource is. So in other words, you’re giving your giving the position or the title of the of the person to be contacted and where to go and what the avenue is in order to make a complaint. So it’s important to have the complaint procedure, and it’s also very important that there is a policy that prohibits retaliation. The law prohibits retaliation.

[00:08:39.84] spk_4:
We’re gonna talk about that right now, find to bring it up because part of policy. But, yes, we’re going to get to a situation where someone feels that they were retaliated against on That’s illegal,

[00:08:52.54] spk_0:
right? Okay, that’s illegal. And it’s a very important, very important area to train on and to have a policy about because sometimes the complaints itself, maybe meritless. And what ends up happening is theirs, then retaliation. And that’s also unlawful. And that can also get an organization.

[00:09:09.01] spk_4:
Yeah. Now devolving the situation is devolving badly, right? Okay,

[00:09:10.84] spk_5:
um um,

[00:09:47.60] spk_0:
so that there should be policies. And also there should be postings in the workplace regarding the various agencies at the at the federal and state level. And if the organization’s covered under the federal laws that prohibit discrimination, there should be postings in the workplace letting employees know what their what their rights are with respect to filing a complaint. Externally, the hope is that the organization has a policy that prohibits sexual harassment and a complaint procedure so that it can be addressed internally and early before before an issue escalates. How

[00:10:03.09] spk_4:
prevalent are these policies? I’m hoping I’m sure 100% e I know. Should I? No, that’s the normative. What’s the reality? what do you do? You see that there rocking a lot of places. Uh,

[00:10:33.04] spk_0:
I see that there can be gaps that that there may not always be policies in place and or they haven’t been kept up to date with changes in the law. They’re also should be a policy that addresses even bystander obligation. So if you see something even apply, see something, even if even if they don’t feel that they are that the conduct is directed towards them that they should be reporting it, they should be reporting it using the complaint procedure that it’s an important thing for others who observe violations of the organization’s policy to report it, because that’s a way to prevent these things from occurring.

[00:11:12.91] spk_4:
Your escalate if your witness to something that’s a lot of what’s in the press is a lot of people who are aware stood by Oh, you know, we’re quiet about it, And rumors were, you know, circulated. But never anything official. Uh, don’t I’m thinking of the cases in Ah, in Hollywood, especially, um Okay, um let me, uh Let’s Ah, let’s take a break.

[00:11:37.00] spk_3:
It’s time for a break, wegner-C.P.As so that your 9 90 gets filed on time so that your audit is finished on time so that you get the advice of an experienced partner. You each tomb and ah, whole firm that has a nationwide non profit practice with thousands of audits under its belt. Wegner-C.P.As dot com. Let’s hear more of sexual harassment in nonprofits. Now

[00:11:57.81] spk_4:
back to Lisa Broner. She and I are talking about sexual harassment in nonprofits. You want to join the conversation? 8774804120 is the number, or treat us with hashtag non profit radio. And we’re also on Facebook live. Thank you, Lisa.

[00:11:59.04] spk_0:
You’re welcome. Okay. All right. Yeah.

[00:12:01.08] spk_4:
All right. You don’t go anywhere.

[00:12:02.53] spk_0:
I’m still he

[00:12:03.30] spk_4:
Excellent. All right.

[00:12:04.50] spk_5:
Um, I

[00:12:05.37] spk_2:
want to get

[00:13:59.64] spk_4:
our I want to get our first, um, communique in first story for story this one came from And email. Um, this woman is a professional fundraiser. Once I partnered with the dean and a visiting alumnus who was also a dean at another university for a cultivation dinner. He put his hand on my hand when we were at the table alone. It was very uncomfortable. I must have been barely 30. The next day we had meetings set up for him to meet with other university officials, and I was alone in the car with him. He put his hand on my leg. I really don’t remember the details, but I do remember thinking he was a pig. Another time, an alumnus asked me out during a cultivation meeting. Of course I declined and steer the conversation back on topic of supporting his alma mater. And finally I was working with an alumnus who agreed to make a six figure gift and asked that I pick up the check at his apartment at 5 p.m. I wasn’t thrilled with his request, but I didn’t feel like I had a choice. I went. He offered me a drink. I accepted, and then we went to dinner. The following week, he contacted me and asked if I wanted to meet him again and said that quote, I seemed sad and that he would cheer me up. End quote. It felt so dirty and like he believed I owed him somehow for his gift to the institution. He didn’t like it when I declined and said he was wrong, that I was happily married with one with a beautiful daughter. This raises a couple of things for me. First is is one woman three times three stories. So, you know, we had me to think we hear these numbers, uh, one woman could experience ah, harassment abuse at the hands of multiple guys. Um, Lisa, this race is also an interesting relationship. The fundraiser donor. I mean, the donor obviously has vastly greater power than the fundraiser.

[00:14:05.37] spk_5:
Um,

[00:14:20.07] spk_0:
you raise you raise an excellent point, and that is that as the and sometimes that organizations may not be considering. That’s the issue of non employees, harassment of of employees and that employers can still be liable for harassment that’s committed by non employees against their employees.

[00:14:27.86] spk_4:
Employers can be liable.

[00:14:29.21] spk_0:
Yes. Yes. Okay. Employers can’t be liable. So it’s very important that the policy the sexual harassment policy that we were talking about, that it addresses specifically that the organization prohibits that they’re prohibition off against sexual harassment includes harassment of their employees, the job applicants and employees by non employees.

[00:15:02.61] spk_4:
So interesting. You just brought in job applicants to yeah, have nuances that the laws here. This is why we have experts. Okay. Job applicants are covered as well as employees. Okay. I’m sorry. God, I want to point that out. Guys.

[00:15:06.34] spk_0:
Yeah, uh, and, uh,

[00:15:07.95] spk_4:
could be volunteer’s board members.

[00:15:19.16] spk_0:
It could. It could be board members. Could be donors. It could be other non employees. That could be it could be a vendor who comes on premises who’s who’s sexually harassing an employee.

[00:15:25.88] spk_4:
All right, so our policy needs to make sure that it’s covering not only harassment by employees,

[00:15:42.00] spk_0:
exactly against other employees, but also that it’s covering harassment by non employees against employees and that the organization has a plan for how they’re gonna address those situations. Okay, depending on what the situation is.

[00:15:44.78] spk_2:
The other thing, this

[00:16:44.88] spk_4:
raises for me now, and I want to make explicit that, uh, for purposes of tony-martignetti non profit radio. Today, we are assuming 100% truth and validity in the stories that I’m gonna be reading. That’s not how the law works. That’s not how an investigation would work, but, um, it’s my show. So for the for today, we’re taking these all at face value as truth. Okay. Um, so that raised that because I’m gonna like nit pick a little bit and I want to see if this makes any difference to you. Um, some of these three stories that the woman shared were pre gift, and one was post gift. The gift I already been made. It was a week after the gift had been made. Uh, does that Does that make any difference to you in a analysis of whether the power still exists, whether they could still be sexual harassment,

[00:16:46.65] spk_0:
it doesn’t. It doesn’t. It doesn’t make a difference. And you raise a good point. Are allegations for over

[00:16:53.68] spk_4:
this year’s all I could do a spot them like a student in love, But I can’t answer any of them. That’s why you’re here.

[00:18:28.56] spk_0:
So s Oh, yes, allegations. That’s allegations. And you’re asking whether there’s difference between what pre gift or posted three ideas is that we recognize that the nature of the relationship has a has a power imbalance, uh, and that the donors in a position of giving or taking away and and the employees although their employment is not, is not ah is not governed by that, so that when we talk about the power dynamic, we’re talking about a supervisor and employees. But the employees may be feeling well. Ah, this is a donor. It’s a big donor for the organization. It puts me in an awkward situation when really, what the employees should be saying, whether it’s a donor or or a vendor coming on premises, because it’s not really about the power and balance. When you’re dealing with non employees is it’s if that employee believes that they’re they’re being sexually harassed, that it’s an unwanted, unwelcome sexual advances, then they should be telling their employer about what the situation is. Okay, this is what happened to them. Your question was, doesn’t matter whether it’s pre gift or post gift. It doesn’t matter. The point is, is that if it’s unwelcome conduct, that’s really what the focus is. If it’s unwelcome conduct, then that’s something they should be reporting to their employer so that them employer can address that with the donor.

[00:18:29.64] spk_4:
Okay, very good. Excellent. Thank you. Setting the second spot, the issues, But I’m not, uh

[00:18:35.35] spk_0:
it was good. That was a very good question about after

[00:18:43.90] spk_4:
passing. And we think that woman for sharing for sharing her stories. Thank you very much. um,

[00:18:44.86] spk_2:
let’s talk about some

[00:19:04.64] spk_4:
training. So we we we have a policy that you leave. We have, ah, Lisa broader approve policy, All right, It’s It’s bona fide has everything. It should, um, training on boarding employees on boarding board members again, all all focused on prevention. We want to stop these things from from happening what we were doing. Our training.

[00:19:43.21] spk_0:
I think training is probably one of the best investments and non profit can make training for its for its employees, for supervisors separate training for supervisors because the supervisors, the actions that the supervisors take can result in the organization being strictly liable. So separate training for supervisors and also and training for employees. And I don’t see this, but I think it’s a very good idea for organizations to be providing us part of their on boarding for board members, providing training on what the organization’s policies are regarding sexual harassment and retaliation.

[00:20:18.85] spk_4:
Okay, you said you’re not seeing that, but it’s a good idea. Yeah, All right. So, Well, there’s a lot of good idea it. So this is important. So, um, organizations, you know you’re getting you’re getting free advice here. Ah, have on boarding your board. Members include training on the not only the organization sexual harassment policy, but prevention recognition of the of the, uh of what’s inappropriate. What’s that? That is part of the policy.

[00:20:20.50] spk_2:
What about from the board member of perspective? How about if, let’s take a

[00:20:45.00] spk_4:
small organization? There isn’t an HR person, um, small organization 45 people. And it’s the CEO who, uh, someone a woman believes is is, uh, engaged in harassing behavior. It doesn’t feel that she can reported anywhere in the office, goes to a board member. What’s a board member? How does a board member react to that?

[00:21:16.47] spk_0:
I think the board should should have. There should be some mechanism. As I said, there really needs to be a policy for a small organization on on how how to address that. Maybe the board decides they’re going to bring in a They’re going to bring in a consultant, someone to investigate someone with experience investigating such claims and then report to the board that person’s findings.

[00:21:19.73] spk_4:
So that would be a part of your policy. I guess how it’s going, how the investigation is going to be conducted.

[00:22:05.03] spk_0:
Absolutely. The sexual harassment policy would indicate that not only here’s our complaint procedure, but once you complain how we’re gonna handle it, there’s gonna be a prompt and thorough investigation which an employer has a legal obligation to dio both a prompt and thorough investigation. There’ll be an investigation, doesn’t need to be done internally and and often times an organization will decide to go external so that they have an independent person who’s investigating the complaint. And then the results of that investigation will be reported to that. Employees the employees always also has the right to go externally. There are government agencies where they can make complaints of sexual harassment. Whether they go, if they’re covered by the federal law, that can go to the e o c. On if they’re if the organization is covered, I should say, if the if the organization is covered by the federal law because there have to be 15 or more employees, they could go to the federal agency that enforces certain Equal

[00:22:55.24] spk_4:
Employment Opportunity Commission, and we’re gonna get into some of that on the state and local also, Um what? How about in the moment? Okay, I I want to cover the employees and also the person to whom it’s reported. What say it is the CEO. So in the employee, in the moment it’s happening in the workplace, something inappropriate has just happened in the lunch room. It just happened right now, and I feel that I’m the female who feels that I’ve been abused, harassed. What do I do right now? It’s happening right now.

[00:23:26.74] spk_0:
Well, really. The best thing for someone to d’oh when they feel that there’s unwelcome conduct is to let the person know who engaged in that conduct, that the conduct is unwelcome immediately, immediately. Sometimes, sometimes the person isn’t aware of what they said. Maybe they are, but sometimes they’re not, that whatever is being said is unwelcome, and the employees should tell that person it’s always that’s the best. First step is to tell the person that the conduct is unwelcome.

[00:23:31.39] spk_4:
Just using those words what you just did.

[00:23:34.89] spk_6:
What you just

[00:23:46.18] spk_4:
said is really inappropriate. And I don’t like it. Yeah, it’s it’s okay, okay. I’m trying to empower people, all right, in that moment. Okay? So call it out immediately.

[00:23:47.86] spk_0:
Called out immediately, or sometimes if somebody’s processing it and is taken aback.

[00:23:53.49] spk_4:
Yeah, I read a lot. That right? I didn’t know how to react. I was frozen. I didn’t Yeah, okay,

[00:24:36.14] spk_0:
then when they are able to be in a emotional state toe, have that conversation to tell the person that it’s unwelcome and it needs to stop immediately so that that’s a first, best step and then to follow whatever the complaint procedure is about how to report that those kinds of things. What is what is the organization’s complaint procedure? Sometimes they don’t feel comfortable. Person doesn’t feel comfortable going to that person directly. I mean, the best way to to have something stop is to tell that person that it’s unwelcome,

[00:24:48.74] spk_4:
right? But that could be hard going back. Let’s say she was frozen in the moment. Five minutes later, the last person she wants to see is that guy. So So Then go to the next step, which is Follow the complaint procedure.

[00:24:52.16] spk_0:
Yes.

[00:24:54.53] spk_4:
Okay. What if there is no complaint procedure?

[00:25:13.68] spk_0:
Thank Goto. Go to another supervisor. In other words, if it’s your supervisor, if it’s an employee supervisor who’s engaging in the conduct, go to another supervisor, find any supervisor to address it and have that supervisor step in to stop to stop the behavior.

[00:25:35.24] spk_4:
Okay. Excellent. Now you’re the supervisor. You’re the You’re the import. Yet you’re the supervisor in the office. Someone has just come to you. It just happened three minutes ago. I didn’t know what to do. I got myself out of the situation. I mean, I can’t remember all the details, but I do remember that he touched me this way. What do you as the supervisor do? What do you say? What do you do in that moment? It just happened.

[00:25:48.74] spk_0:
So the supervisor, it’s going to depend again on this on the particular fax of of the organization. And what? How big they are in terms of what what other resource is they have. So in an organization that has a human resource is person and where the policy and procedure is contact human contact. Human resource is they will go to human resource. That supervisor should go to human resource is immediately immediately. And tell them this has been reported to may.

[00:26:16.92] spk_4:
Okay, um, I want you to hold that thought we’re gonna come back to see because I take a little break, cause I gotta take care of my sponsors. Okay, so

[00:27:38.33] spk_3:
we need to take a break. Cougar Mountain Software, Their accounting product Denali, is built for non profits from the ground up so that you get an application that supports the way you work. That has the features you need. And the exemplary support that you’ve heard about that understands you. They have a free 60 day trial on the listener landing page at now. It’s time for tony Steak, too. 20 NTC The 2020 non profit Technology conference coming up. Baltimore, Maryland. I hope you’re going. It’s an outstanding conference. There are a lot of very wise speakers there, and as you’ve heard many times, it is not only four technologists by any means. It’s for anybody who uses technology, which is all of us. I’ll be there on the exhibit floor in Booths 3 16 and 3 18 capturing lots of smart interviews for the show Coming months in the show we’re sponsored, thereby Cougar Mountain software so you’ll see us in a booth. Oversized booth double booth together. Um, thank you to Cougar mouth and software for sponsoring us at NTC. Come

[00:27:38.57] spk_2:
by, Come by, Say hello

[00:27:43.41] spk_3:
if you’re there. Come see us in Booth 3 16 and 3 18 Um, we’ll be the ones making a lot of noise doing interviews because I have an external speaker so you can hear it all in the video on this is that tony-martignetti dot com. And that’s tony Steak, too. Let’s go back to sexual harassment in nonprofits.

[00:28:28.86] spk_4:
Lisa Brauner were back with her. She is, uh ah. Partner, attorney and partner at Perlman and Pearlman in New York City. Um, if you want to join the conversation about sexual harassment in nonprofits 8774804120 is the number 8774804120 tweet us with hashtag non profit radio were also on Facebook live on the tony-martignetti non profit radio page. I give you a little homework assignment, but actually, I do remember where we were,

[00:28:30.72] spk_0:
but when I say I’m sorry, let your mom.

[00:28:53.11] spk_4:
Oh, thank you very much. Thank you. A lot of times I don’t remember. So you’re off the hook In case you forgot. I remember. We’re now in a smaller I know you do. We’re now in a small organization um, without a policy, and the employee has just come right now to you as a supervisor. What do you say first? What do you say to her?

[00:29:12.64] spk_0:
I think the supervisor would express concern about what the employees had expressed to the supervisor and let the employees know that they’re going to address it if there’s not. If there’s not an HR person

[00:29:16.17] spk_4:
from their isn’t

[00:30:12.60] spk_0:
they will. They will. They will bring it to the and is still is your hypothetical still that it’s the CEO who had engaged in the conduct or just another supervisor? Okay, so another supervisor. So then there’s no policy. But I think the logical step would be that the supervisor then brings it up the chain of command and the absence of a policy. Yeah, it would make sense to bring the complaint up the chain of command, meaning that the supervisor then goes to the CEO and addresses it with them and the CEO and the absence of having an HR person that would be a conversation, then with the board. And there may be a determination. They’re gonna bring in an employment attorney to investigate the complaint, and there will then be some discussion about the fact that there needs to be a policy that I was going back to the policy because it’s really a baseline is that Polish

[00:30:16.11] spk_2:
should have won. For God’s sake, I have get one. If you don’t have one, get one. For Pete’s sake, just have it. What? What you

[00:30:21.76] spk_4:
know. But we have to cover the contingency because I’m sure it’s not 100% coverage of these things. As you’re well aware, the policies are not 100% of nonprofits,

[00:30:29.05] spk_0:
right? And I would also say, Get insurance, get GPL insurances, employment practices, liability insurance.

[00:30:43.98] spk_4:
Pl thank you for defining that. Otherwise you’d be in jargon jail, e p l employment practices, liability insurance. Talk to your insurance carrier about E p L coverage. Okay,

[00:32:15.32] spk_0:
yeah, so that’s a good idea to. And the training is really it’s essential, and not just about preventing sexual harassment but really preventing retaliation, training for employees on the issue of bystander being a bystander, and obligations to report violations of the policy that they see even if they are not personally affected by what’s going on. So the training on those issues, this really critical sexual harassment prevention, other kinds of preventing other types of unlawful discrimination, harassment in the workplace and preventing retaliation, which is an area that really is it is, ends up getting a lot of organizations in in trouble. A National, a large national nonprofit organization, recently settled a retaliation case for close to $2 million earlier this year. The allegations were, and it was it was a case that was settled. So these allegations thes were just allegations. The allegations were that the organization had fired the HR director and the in house counsel after those individuals reported to the organization that they believe there were complaints of discrimination not by them but by others. And the allegation brought by the E. O. C. Was action brought by the E. O. C. Was that that those two individuals had been terminated in retaliation for having brought forward complaints by

[00:32:20.72] spk_4:
having done their job.

[00:32:31.51] spk_0:
Yeah, settlement was $1.95 million. So the issue of although these were allegations the issue off claims of retaliation are very important for organizations to take seriously and to prevent those those claims from arising by offering by having training for both their board and their employees.

[00:34:20.69] spk_4:
I want to bring in another story I got This is, uh, on the website tony-martignetti dot com Comment. I was working for three years in an embassy of a foreign country in the U. S. A. And during those same three years, I was sexually harassed by different diplomats and employees who were locally hired. I wasn’t the only one suffering from this treatment. Many of my co workers would complain to me about this behavior and there were never any consequences. Even after talking to the perpetrators immediate supervisor or to the administrator of the embassy, we were cornered in offices. Minister would measure our breasts in front of other people. Nothing doing it private makes this behavior justifiable. But there were even witnesses of this behavior, and no one did anything about it. We’d receive sexual propositions, or cat called in the office. And we were all too afraid to speak up because this could have consequences against us women and no consequences against the perpetrators. After three years of silence, I had had enough. So I decided to speak to the administrative Minister in charge of the personnel about my problem. But although she behaved as an ally, I wasn’t comfortable enough to give her names because in the list I would have had to include my boss. I told her I was willing to start a campaign with workshops to train men about appropriate workplace behavior with female co workers. She told me to follow up and write an email with my ideas. Needless to say, she never responded to my email. Um, all right, this raises a few things. Doesn’t sense non non profit so foreign to Foreign Embassy in the U. S. I. C. A resident of resident non citizen. Do they have different standing? If you if you’re not a citizen of the U. S. Does that matter?

[00:34:24.64] spk_0:
Well, I don’t know. I don’t know whether there are particular laws that apply to embassies better located in the United States and the rights of those individuals.

[00:34:35.73] spk_4:
All right, well, let’s put it in a knot

[00:34:36.78] spk_0:
of us. If it was US organization is different. If it’s a different, it’s a different situation.

[00:34:45.60] spk_4:
Okay, let’s put it in a U. S. Non profit. Uh, it’s a resident non citizen. Do they have any lower level of standards?

[00:35:41.34] spk_0:
they have. They’re working for US organization. That’s my hypothetical here, you know, here in the United States, then they would still be protected by our law by their own employees. And our the laws prohibit discrimination against employees, depending on. Like I said, they’re federal. We didn’t really go into it. But their federal, state and local laws and those laws in terms of who’s covered which employers air covered, may depend on the size of the organization. So we there’s a federal law called Title Seven, and that applies to employers with 15 or more employees. So and then states and localities have cities have their own laws prohibiting employment discrimination, and they may have, ah, lower coverage. So, for instance, in New York, both state and New York City human rights laws require generally that you have. You have four or more employees in order for that organization to be covered by the loss.

[00:36:00.38] spk_4:
Okay, Another thing I see here is ah, retaliation, potential retaliation. But we talked about that illegal.

[00:36:29.80] spk_0:
Oh, retaliation. This is retaliation to talk about retaliation. What it is is if if if somebody, if an employer takes some action against someone for engaging in legally protected activity. And what that means is complaining of discrimination or participating, even as a witness in a complaint of discrimination. Opposing discrimination, those kinds of things air protected by the law, those kinds of complaints and participation investigation. So if some action is taken against an individual because they engaged in legally protected activity that’s considered retaliation

[00:36:43.55] spk_4:
would raise a claim of retaliation.

[00:36:52.59] spk_0:
Yeah, putting it quite simply, I mean, there’s a little bit of a different standard, but that’s if if something happens to them because they did that, then that’s generally considered unlawful retaliation.

[00:36:57.08] spk_4:
That’s a that’s a good level for for us. Okay, I don’t wanna get into Ah ah. See Ellie course legal legal education course.

[00:37:04.62] spk_2:
OK, the other thing I

[00:37:18.23] spk_4:
see here is what if the organization isn’t taking action? Suppose there is a policy and they’re not following the policy as the employees. As the aggrieved employees, I don’t see anything happening now. You said I have the EOE see the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I could go there

[00:37:27.29] spk_0:
if if the organization’s covered you talked about, this may not be covered.

[00:37:40.75] spk_4:
It may not be, um, where just help me out where I’ve been aggrieved and I don’t see my organization doing anything that are following the policy. Wegner following their own policy, and it’s a bigger organization over 15 employees. What do I do?

[00:38:03.51] spk_0:
So employees have the right to file a claim of discrimination either with the federal agency. If the organization is covered, has 15 or more employees or with their state or local But state or city agency government agency that enforces the laws of that state or say we’re varies from state to state or not Every city may have

[00:38:31.97] spk_4:
right. The smaller cities are not gonna have a human rights commission. Um, what about hiring your own attorney? Is there any value in that as the employees it’s been, It’s been three or four weeks. I haven’t heard anything back. I don’t see anything happening. Nobody’s talked to me value in the hiring an attorney to help you enforce your rights,

[00:38:49.97] spk_0:
and employees could. I mean, as an attorney for organizations, I think it’s best for employees to to try to use the the processes that are in place and if they’re not able to, if if if they’re not able to avail themselves of those avenues

[00:38:57.16] spk_4:
where they availed themselves, but they’re

[00:39:13.22] spk_0:
not getting back. You’re not getting a response. They may not be satisfaction, but they’re not getting response to the allegations. There’s not. There’s not an investigation being done, and it’s not proceeding in the manner in which the policy has said then they certainly are within their rights to tiu contact an attorney.

[00:39:22.60] spk_4:
Okay, Okay, um, you got take another break again, hanging with this

[00:39:42.97] spk_3:
time for our last break turn to communications their former journalists so that you get help building relationships with journalists so that your call gets answered when there’s knees. When there’s news that you need to comment on so that you stay relevant in your work, including a former journalist at the Chronicle of Philanthropy, they understand our community there at turn hyphen to dot CEO. We’ve got butt loads. More time for attorney Lisa Bronner and sexual harassment in nonprofits.

[00:39:58.88] spk_4:
We are continuing our conversation. Ah, with Lisa Brauner in

[00:40:04.61] spk_2:
studio and I’d like to turn

[00:40:20.25] spk_4:
to another another avenue. This is, uh, this is from Vanessa Chase. Vanessa Chase election and her sight is the story telling non profit dot com and she says at a conference. One of the facilitators used his session to talk about how, when people make mistakes, they should be welcomed back into the community. His

[00:40:38.47] spk_2:
reason for choosing this topic was self serving. He disclosed that he sexually harassed women at this same conference the year before. You believe that you believe somebody and was essentially forcing everyone to welcome him back.

[00:41:14.41] spk_4:
Unfortunately, the conference organizers did not know one that this had happened, and to that he was going to use this moment to essentially give himself a second chance without any consultation with the conference organizers or the broader community. As an attendee, I immediately felt unsafe. My whole body tensed up and was like that for the remaining two days of the conference. I resented that I was in voluntarily put in this environment and that there was no way for me to easily leave because we were at a retreat center. Then, of course, there were the women who were harmed by this facilitator who were in the audience and some who were not in the audience, and

[00:41:17.21] spk_2:
they had no idea that this

[00:41:44.51] spk_4:
was going to be publicly aired. This conference had no clear, transparent policies in place for people to report sexual harassment. This meant that nonprofits who may have clear internal policies for this unintentionally put staff in unsafe environments where the policies were not consistent with the organizations Lisa brought her. This is interesting. One conferences. You send your employees to a conference. Let’s say you have the employer. You pay all the expenses. What’s the situation here?

[00:41:45.72] spk_0:
It’s very interesting, very interesting issue that’s being raised. And I ended the I think we talked about that. There is There was one conference or one organization that created a way about

[00:42:04.51] spk_4:
that. Yeah, we’re gonna get to that.

[00:42:05.87] spk_0:
Okay, so it’s It’s a very interesting issue, and

[00:42:27.70] spk_4:
their employer liability is that. Is that possible? Employer liability. Again, let’s take my hypothetical. We approve the conference. We’re paying for the expenses for travel and meals and lodging while you’re there. It definitely is related to Europe. Your employment. Obviously those would have paid for it. Is there potential employer

[00:42:28.95] spk_0:
liability? Courts have ruled differently on the issue of when and employers liable outside the workplace, certainly where there can be things outside the workplace and organizations sponsored event and something like that

[00:42:41.68] spk_4:
off outing

[00:42:42.36] spk_0:
where Gala, Where there could be open

[00:42:44.34] spk_4:
house in the office. Well, I’ll be in the office, but we’re you’re thinking off site

[00:43:06.45] spk_0:
outside the four walls of the office. And I think in a in a situation like that, where an employee feels that they’re in an unsafe situation, they have to tell there employer about that because that’s not something that the employer could have anticipated.

[00:43:09.47] spk_4:
Agreed? This is that it was a bizarre one.

[00:43:21.90] spk_0:
Yeah, so? So it’s it’s really kind of outside outside the scope of something that an employer may have envisioned as the courts have gone differently about, you know, how far that how far the workplace extends.

[00:43:30.49] spk_4:
Okay, um, what if you are on a conference organizing committee?

[00:43:47.88] spk_0:
And I’d also say one of things that she was alleging not that she was sexually harassed, but simply that she felt uncomfortable by by being in the presence of someone who had who had a certain that he that he sexually harassed others

[00:43:59.46] spk_4:
right at the conference in the year before, right? Okay, you know, You know what? I’m not even gonna I’m not going to get into the issue. Could she allege? Well, she could certainly allege Could should be successful in a claim of sexual harassment. She the woman who wrote the blood post Vanessa Chase election.

[00:44:08.83] spk_0:
She’s not asserting anything. I know

[00:44:30.73] spk_4:
she’s here. Yeah, it’s interesting. Maybe legal question for me, but let’s not get into it. It’s gonna get too detailed. Let’s take this. What If you’re a volunteer or you’re a conference organizer? You’re in a F P association of fundraising professionals. You put on him conference every year. Do you have an obligation to have a policy around this around? Harassment discrimination for your attendees?

[00:44:47.74] spk_0:
Well, it’s not an employer. It’s on an employer obligation is more of a question of is the environment that you want to create for your attendees, one in which everyone is acknowledging that they’re gonna abide by certain rules when they attend that conference?

[00:44:52.30] spk_4:
Well, I think that yeah, they’re certainly unwritten rules,

[00:45:10.16] spk_0:
but what are they going tohave? Are they going to have written rules? Do they wanna have everyone agree that when you when you come to our conference, you’re going thio agree to certain behavior in certain conduct, And if you don’t then we reserve our right to to not have you attend our conferences anymore. But it’s a different question than an employer. Sure. Okay, All

[00:45:19.39] spk_2:
right, well, I’m testing the bounds of the law. Okay, so it suddenly it’s at least

[00:45:26.16] spk_4:
an issue for conference organizers.

[00:45:27.95] spk_0:
It’s an interesting issue. It’s an interesting issue that blogger races. Yeah,

[00:45:32.30] spk_4:
absolutely on. And if you’re in, this is from again, this is from Vanessa Chase Election, she suggests. If you’re a conference attendee, exercise your agency to attend conferences that are doing their best to create safe environments for women. Ask conference organizers to share their policies publicly and use part of the opening session to make sure all attendees know about the policies. Seems reasonable.

[00:46:02.26] spk_0:
I think I think her hers talking about employers making enquiries particular

[00:46:04.48] spk_4:
is making me incredibly,

[00:46:28.23] spk_0:
particularly where particularly where let’s say, an employee had raised if an employee raised an issue and said I felt uncomfortable because there was this person who admittedly sexually harassed attendees at the conference. It would be interesting for an employer to pursue whether or not there there, that conference organizer has a code of conduct the conference organizer. It might not have crossed their mind, even that there, that there that there should be one. But it’s an interesting issue there now,

[00:47:16.87] spk_4:
all unnoticed because it’s on non profit radio. So every every non profit conference organizer is now on notice. You can play this for them, and any reasonable conference organizer would be listening to non profit radio. So play this. They are unnoticed on dhe. That’s going to, uh, you know, not that we’re trying to help you. I mean, I would like to help you after the fact. I’d like to prevent it to begin with, but conference organizers, ifyou’re non profit, uh, you’re on notice. Case case closed. Okay, Read. Stockman tweeted. Hey asked where would folks find a sample policy for ideas and related to this? Exactly. Read is the non profit ah technology network and 10 which I’m a member of a B sample. Ward is the CEO, and she’s our monthly social media

[00:47:21.38] spk_2:
contributor and they do have

[00:47:32.55] spk_4:
a code of conduct on it. Includes the non profit technology conference as well as I think. I think this would pass Lisa broader muster, but I’m not gonna put you on the spot to say for sure. But where Where is it? Apply a lend 10 spaces again in 10. The non profit technology network, including, but not limited to and tens online

[00:47:39.66] spk_2:
community, platform, online community, social media, right? Yes, webinars and

[00:47:43.90] spk_4:
trainings, they explicitly say Social media, non profit technology conference, non profit tech, ground up snot and 10 labs, et cetera. What What are they talking about? Discrimination Is the unjust er prejudicial treatment of others related to gender, gender, identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, euro, typical ality or atypical ality, physical appearance, body size, age, race or religion that sound pretty comprehensive to you.

[00:48:13.55] spk_0:
It includes categories that, ah are not legally protected in New York, but it may vary from state to

[00:48:20.88] spk_4:
state. They’re being very going beyond that. This is, of course, that they’re entitled. Have anything they want in their policy, right, and

[00:48:25.83] spk_0:
they can put go beyond what’s required. They can put with what they would like in their policy,

[00:49:03.25] spk_4:
And then it goes on t mention behaviors that harassment includes, which I don’t have time to take off, but so you can find an example, um, and then also includes how to report. Uh, there’s an email talk to an intent community team member and how you identify them by their lanyard. Or you could make an anonymous report. They have a WUFU site platform that you could use for anonymous reporting. So it does cover that. And the answer is you can look att en 10 you go to, uh, and 10 dot or ge slash ntc slash at a glance with hyphens between the words slash code of conduct with hyphens in between the words Thank you and 10 for that contribution. And Lisa brought in. We have just a minute. Why don’t you leave us with the last bit of advice, Please?

[00:49:38.86] spk_0:
I think that if you’re gonna have ah takeaway from today is the importance of having policies that prohibit sexual harassment that prohibit retaliation, prohibit unlawful retaliation and that you do trainings for your supervisors and your employees on preventing discrimination, preventing unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace

[00:49:45.13] spk_4:
and for individuals. Call it out because it’s not going to stop.

[00:49:50.57] spk_0:
And for individuals, it’s important to to call it out and address it. If the conduct is unwelcome, you let the person no employees should let the person know who is engaging in that conduct, that the conduct is unwelcome.

[00:50:03.83] spk_4:
We have to leave it there. OK? Lisa Broner, attorney and partner at Perlman and Pearlman in New York City. There, Perlman and Perlman dot or GE and also at Tax Exempt Lawyer.

[00:50:12.11] spk_3:
Next week, Jamie burst with your organization’s health. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony-martignetti dot com were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers. Wegner-C.P.As dot com by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot CEO

[00:51:26.15] spk_2:
creative producers Claire Meyerhoff. Sam Liebowitz is the line producer. Shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is by Scott Stein be with me next week for not profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great talking alternative radio 24 hours a day.

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