Idaho Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

Idaho Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The Idaho Human Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants or employees based on sex, including sexual harassment (ID Code Sec. 67-5901 et seq.). The law applies to all public employers and private employers with five or more employees. It also applies to contractors or subcontractors providing goods or services to the state. When analyzing harassment claims brought under state law, the courts in Idaho apply the standards used by federal courts in harassment claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964..
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State law does not require training on an employer's policy against sexual harassment or on the employer's procedures for reporting harassment. However, training supervisors and employees regarding the employer's policy and procedure is strongly recommended. Training enables supervisors to properly address sexual harassment complaints, educates the workforce on the employer's prohibition of unlawful sexual harassment, and assists in the prevention of potentially harassing situations. Effective training establishes the employer's policies and provides the basis for an affirmative defense to sexual harassment claims.
A federal court affirmed a jury award for an employee whose employer failed to take effective steps to prevent or remedy sexual harassment in the workplace (Bjornson v. Dave Smith Motors, 578 F.Supp.2d 1269 (D. Idaho 2008)). The employee had reported the alleged harassment to her supervisors and to the company's Human Resources (HR) department. However, the supervisors ignored the allegations, and the HR department failed to conduct a complete investigation, according to the evidence reviewed by the court. In affirming the jury award, ...

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