Kentucky Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

Kentucky Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The Kentucky Civil Rights Act prohibits employers with eight or more employees from discriminating in employment on the basis of sex, including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 344.010 et seq.). Discrimination based on sex includes sexual harassment.
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A federal district court in Kentucky upheld a jury's award of damages, including punitive damages, in a sexual harassment case because the jury reasonably found that the employer knew of the harassment and failed to take appropriate action to remedy it (West v. Tyson Foods, 374 Fed. Appx. 624 (6th Cir. 2010)). In this case, the employee provided evidence that she was harassed by her male coworkers hundreds of times during the first few weeks of her employment. She also provided evidence that when she complained to her supervisor she was told initially that she should understand the conduct because of her attractive physical appearance, and then was told not to complain to the human resources department. After several subsequent incidents of harassment that included physical contact, the employee did not return to work and was fired for job abandonment. When she later met with the human resources manager and described the incidents, the human resources manager took extensive notes, apologized repeatedly, and told the employee he would investigate her complaint. The investigation was never conducted and the manager's notes were never found. In affirming the jury award, the court concluded that there was sufficient evidence to support the awards, which totaled over $1 million.
Practical tip: In addition to having strong antiharassment policies in place, employers should provide regular training to supervisors and ...

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