GAMING CONTROL BOARD LOOKING TO IMPLEMENT MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICIES
You may have noticed that sexual harassment has been in the news lately. The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) certainly has.
On March 1, Becky Harris, Chairwoman for the NGCB, issued a Notice to Licensees regarding anticipated regulations or minimum control standards for policies, procedures, and training related to sexual harassment in the workplace. In the notice, Chairwoman Harris acknowledges that sexual harassment continues to be one of the most frequent complaints raised in the workplace and includes bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, unwanted sexual attention, and gender harassment.
To protect the public confidence and trust in the gaming industry, the NGCB wants to ensure it’s licensees meet certain minimum standards when it comes to their sexual harassment policies, procedures, and training. In the coming months, the NGCB intends to begin the process of enacting regulations and/or minimum control standards for combating sexual harassment in the gaming industry in Nevada.
To begin the process, the NGCB has issued a checklist, which licensees may use to review their current sexual harassment policies, and a sample sexual harassment complaint form. The checklist is comprised of 15 ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions asking whether the following are part of their current sexual harassment policy:
- An unequivocal statement that sexual harassment will not be tolerated.
- An unequivocal statement that there is an organizational commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect.
- An easy-to-understand description of prohibited conduct, with examples given.
- A description of a reporting system available to employees who experience sexual harassment, as well as those who observe sexual harassment. Said reporting system must include the company’s compliance committee should one exist.
- A statement that the reporting system will provide a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation.
- A statement that the identity of an individual who submits a report, a witness who provides information regarding a report, the target of the complaint, and any information gathered as part of the investigation will be kept confidential to the fullest extent possible.
- An assurance that the employer will take immediate and proportionate corrective action if it determines sexual harassment has occurred.
- A communication of the disposition of the investigation to all parties and, where appropriate, a communication of the sanction imposed if sexual harassment was substantiated.
- An assurance that an individual who submits a report or a witness who provides information will be protected from retaliation.
- A statement that any employee who retaliates against any individual who submits a report or provides information regarding the report will be disciplined approriately.
- Regular compliance training for all employees.
- An annual review and assessment of internal sexual harassment policies and procedures to ensure effectiveness.
- A plan to remedy any deficiencies noted after the annual review and assessment, resulting in more effective policies and procedures.
- Good faith efforts to prevent or remedy repeated problems should they exist.
- Implementation of an annual survey that asks employees to report whether they are currently being harassed or know of any harassment taking place.
The checklist is intended only as a guide. The rule making process is a long one and will include workshops so licensees and other stakeholders can provide their input before any permanent regulations are put into place. The NGCB will provide advanced notice of any workshops that make take place to discuss these new requirements.
Would these new regulations and/or minimum control standards apply to you? NRS Chapter 463 sets out the licensing and control of gaming in Nevada, including who is a licensee under the law. Want to submit your suggestions or ideas on this subject to the NGCB? Chairwoman Harris welcomes your input. Nevada licensees and members of the gaming industry can email firstname.lastname@example.org with their input on these proposed minimum standards.
Thinking of revamping your sexual harassment policy in light of recent events? Let NAE review your policy to ensure you have all your bases covered. Want to training your staff on sexual harassment to avoid a costly lawsuit? Contact NAE about the training programs we offer—including on-site training.