Achieving Zero Tolerance of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

By Attorney William E. O’GaraApril 10, 2018Video

Employers deal with complicated and difficult HR issues regularly. Although the allegations regarding Harvey Weinstein and the advent of the #MeToo movement have raised attention about the issue of sexual harassment, reporting is limited in providing practical guidance for employers seeking information to help their organizations. In this video, PLDO Principal William E. O’Gara describes some of the obstacles facing employers when it comes to sexual harassment and offers considerations to help solve these workplace issues. He explains that the legal standard for sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, which is a subset of sexual harassment, is whether or not the work environment is something where an employee is confronted with an abusive, hostile environment that he or she did not invite. For employers, he says, the key is making sure that everyone in the organization from frontline supervisors to the lowest level employee understands that it’s a zero-tolerance policy and that the employer is going to maintain a work environment in every operation, in every corner of the business, that the employer can stand behind and it can defend without being apologetic. For more information, call Attorney O’Gara, who leads the firm’s Employment Law and Litigation Teams, at 401-824-5100.

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William E. O’Gara

William E. O’Gara is a Principal with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC, whose practice focuses on employment and labor law and mediating disputes. With over 25 years of experience, Attorney O’Gara has handled a wide range of cases including employment discrimination, wage and hour claims and sexual harassment claims. Attorney O’Gara also assists clients with traditional labor law matters, ranging from contract negotiations to arbitration. As a trusted advisor, Attorney O’Gara works with clients on a daily basis regarding a wide array of employment issues that arise without warning and that employers confront. As an experienced practitioner, Attorney O’Gara has successfully mediated a wide range of disputes both at the pre-litigation stage and before trial. He also provides training for managers and supervisors on employment-related issues.

Among the industries he represents include:

  • Health Care
  • Education
  • Social Service Providers
  • Construction
  • Warehousing and Distribution
  • Technology

Attorney O’Gara earned his J.D. from Northeastern University and his Master’s in Industrial Relations from the University of Rhode Island. Attorney O’Gara leads the firm’s Employment and Litigation Teams, and is a member of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island bars, representing clients before administrative agencies and state and federal courts.

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