LANDMARK SUPREME COURT DECISION A 'GREEN LIGHT' FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT CLAIMS; NATIONAL EMPLOYEE RELATIONS EXPERT WARNS EMPLOYERS TO TAKE HEED
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Supreme Court's unanimous ruling that will enable workers to win sexual harassment suits against their employers without having to prove psychological damage is far more than just a precedent-setting decision. According to one expert in the field of management rights and employee relations, this action will trigger a flurry of claims, ultimately pressuring employers to institute appropriate policies. "This is the most significant harassment case in almost a decade, and there will be major repercussions," said Jonathan A. Segal, who is currently providing sensitivity training to federal judges nationally on sexual harassment and gender bias in the courts, at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington. "As a legal matter, the case doesn't change the law, but as a practical matter, it is perceived as a green light to harassment claims in the future." Segal believes the decision provides employers with greater incentive to ensure they have sufficient policies and programs in place to avoid litigation. But, he maintains, "paper policies" simply are not enough. "Companies must heighten awareness and increase sensitivity and communication in order to protect their employees and themselves. Sensivity training exercises that help men and women understand the diversity of perspectives on appropriate behavior can do this by reducing the confusion and miscommunication that lead to sexual harassment claims. Proper training can decrease an employer's exposure to claims resulting from a hostile work environment by discouraging objectionable behavior and fostering open communication," said Segal. A partner in the labor law and employee relations department of Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen in Philadelphia, Segal's practice focuses on the training of managers and the development of policies and programs designed to avoid litigation, unionization and employee attrition. He hosted a television special on sexual harassment, "The Sexual Harassment Quiz," based on a supervisory training exercise he developed, which was initially broadcast on WHYY (PBS - Philadelphia) and subsequently on 200 PBS stations throughout the country. A contributing editor to HRMagazine, Segal has published more than 50 articles on employment-related issues and frequently speaks at national, state and local human resource and business conferences. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Segal received his J.D. with honors from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. Segal can be reached for comment on the Supreme Court decision or related employee relations issues at 215-977-2628. Biography of Jonathan A. Segal Jonathan A. Segal is a partner with Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis- Cohen in its Labor Law and Employee Relations Department and represents both unionized and non-unionized companies in all aspects of their labor and employee relations. Segal's practice concentrates heavily in the training of managers and the development of policies and programs designed to avoid litigation, unionization and employee attrition, including sexual harassment, drug and alcohol abuse, HIV, the glass ceiling, peer review, non-punitive discipline, remaining union-free, hiring and recruiting, and multi-cultural diversity. A contributing editor to HRMagazine, Segal has published more than 50 articles on employment-related issues. A list of selected articles is available upon request. Segal is also frequently a featured speaker at national, state and local human resource and business conferences, including conferences sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management, the Drug-Free Workplace, Inc., and the Pennsylvania State Chamber of Business and Industry. Segal also lectures regularly at the Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania's School of Law and Villanova University's SHRM Accreditation Course. Segal recently hosted a television special on sexual harassment, "The Sexual Harassment Quiz." The special, which was based on a supervisory training exercise which Segal developed, was broadcast initially on WHYY(PBS-Philadelphia). Subsequently, it has been broadcast on more than 200 local PBS stations throughout the country. Segal's work has been featured in articles in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. Segal currently is serving as a consultant to the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, providing sensitivity training to federal judges around the country with regard to gender bias in the courts. Segal received his B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D., with honors from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. Prior to joining Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen, Segal clerked for Norma L. Shapiro, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. /delval/ -0- 11/19/93 /CONTACT: Donna Bleznak of Earle Palmer Brown, 215-851-9652, or Jonathan A. Segal of Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen, 215-977-2628.
CO: Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:
JM-MJ -- PHFNS1 -- 6369 11/19/93 07:35 EST
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|Date:||Nov 19, 1993|
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