Boy, what a time for me to take vacation. That’s right, in the middle of the Filner sexual harassment scandal, which is taking place practically in my backyard.

I did have a reporter contact me about sexual harassment training during vacation. So I was mentioned in this San Diego Union-Tribune article. The most important takeaways from the article? “Several women said effective training really helps change attitudes and behaviors.” And, as I noted, “training and uniform enforcement of policies — not letting the CEO or a big client off the hook — are equally important.”

Anyhow, Mayor Filner’s latest legal salvo strikes some as an exercise in chutzpah. Filner claims that the City of San Diego should be responsible for his legal fees because it failed to provide him mandatory sexual harassment training. For several reasons, I doubt this argument will be successful. For one, it’s hard to see a nexus. After all, AB 1825 (the law requiring sexual harassment training for California supervisors) required that he be trained by May, within six months of obtaining his supervisory position. Yet the allegations of harassment precede this date. And he did receive training when the allegations surfaced, which means his training was delayed by less than two months.

What is the takeaway here? Even if no duty to defend is found in the Filner case, any company or organization that is subject to mandatory sexual harassment training should discharge its duty promptly. In California, that means training newly promoted or hired supervisors within six months under AB 1825.


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