Employment law training programs include an exciting exercise called team competition. Team competition follows each training program and assists in reinforcing the content of the program. Training participants are divided into several teams that compete against one another. Each team is provided a game board, similar to a monopoly board, with spaces on each board referred to by employment law terms (e.g. discrimination claim filed, wage and hour claim, harassment suit filed). Multiple choice questions are presented that directly relate to the content of the training program. Teams answering correctly move accordingly on the game board. Teams with the wrong answer are penalized by moving in a direction away from the finish.

Team competition also serves as a tool in getting participants to work together (as a team) in reaching an answer. A workplace situation is provided for each team to review. Several possible answers follow. Each team individually discusses the situation and reaches an agreement as to the most correct answer. The facilitator then presents the correct answer followed by an analysis as to why the answer is the most correct. Participants will then move accordingly on the game board that also has spaces providing other surprises along the way to the finish.

Team competition is presented through a PowerPoint program. The facilitator will lead the teams through the question and possible answers. The teams than have three minutes to reach agreement as to the most correct answer. Following is an example of a question, answers, and analysis of a workplace situation following a training program:

Question:

Bob, Sophie's supervisor, offers to promote her if she will have an affair with him. She refuses and is not promoted. Sophie files a sexual harassment lawsuit for quid pro quo harassment because she was not promoted. What is the likely outcome?

Possible Answers:

a. Since Sophie did not lose a tangible job benefit, the company will prevail.

b. The company is vicariously liable for the acts of the supervisor.

c. Since there was no tangible action taken, Sophie unreasonably failed to take advantage of the company's sexual harassment policy.

d. If Sophie reconsiders and accepts Bob's proposal, she will be promoted.

e. None of the above.

Answer:

The most correct answer is B.

Analysis:

An employer is vicariously liable for the acts of a supervisor for both quid pro quo and hostile environment sexual harassment. However, an employer may have an affirmative defense if no tangible employment action is taken. Answer "a" is not correct because the loss of a promotion, if otherwise qualified on the merits, is a tangible job benefit. Answer "c" is not correct because there is no record that the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct any sexual harassment behavior, a requirement for an affirmative defense.