ABA releases handbook to help lawyers fight sexual harassment

The American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession has released a manual to help legal employers and victims fight sexual harassment.

The manual, “Zero Tolerance: Best Practices for Combating Sex-Based Harassment in the Legal Profession,” contains practical advice for legal employers and employees, including sample policies for prohibiting harassment and for progressive discipline.

The manual includes up-to-date summaries of case law and best practices on developing and enforcing anti-harassment policies. It addresses new subject areas such as LGBTQ rights and gender-based bullying, and draws on the personal experiences of professionals who deal with sexual harassment issues every day, including lawyers, judges, educators, investigators, mediators and legislators. The goal of the publication, which has been thoroughly updated and revised since first published in 2002, is to provide practical guidance for addressing and eliminating sexual harassment in the legal workplace by 2020.

The preface is written by Brandeis University Prof. Anita Hill, who made news when she accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.

Chapters deal with:

• The problems of sex-based harassment and the need for zero tolerance

• The legal framework for sex-based harassment and bullying

• Recent manifestations of sex-based harassment

• Training and prevention

• Developing and enforcing anti-harassment policies

• Selected resources

Contributors include executive editor Wendi S. Lazar, editors Terese M. Connolly and Gregory S. Chiarello, and members of the ABA Section of Labor & Employment Law. The book incorporates the perspectives of lawyers who represent both plaintiffs and management.

“Zero Tolerance” is available at the ABA Store, at https://shop.americanbar.org/ebus/store.aspx