A new report from the Women’s March has highlighted the Trump Administration’s sexual misconduct policy, which could have implications for journalists who work at publications like The New York Times, which has faced criticism from critics and a few of its employees over the past few weeks.
According to a new report by the Women on the Front, The New Yorker, the New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, and the New Republic are among the publications whose staffs have received sexual harassment training since January.
All of those publications are members of the Society of Professional Journalists.
The report also noted that the White House did not include a section on sexual harassment and assault in its list of training materials for journalists.
The White House has said the inclusion of the policy did not mean that it would be enforced.
The administration’s training materials do not outline specific steps to follow in reporting harassment or assault.
They instead say the “best way to report a sexual harassment complaint is to get in touch with the person directly who may have experienced or witnessed harassment or misconduct, or in a reporting capacity, to get the person to participate in an ongoing investigation.”
The White Houses own training materials say to “provide the person with the information and support to be able to address the situation without resorting to formal legal action.”
But the report, which was released Wednesday by Women on March for Life, the non-profit that advocates for reproductive rights, said it was important to highlight the lack of guidance for journalists in the new administration’s approach to sexual harassment.
The training materials state, “We strongly recommend journalists not report allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault unless it involves a criminal offense or serious injury.”
“If you report sexual harassment you risk being suspended, fired, or even worse, have your job and your reputation destroyed,” said Sarah Gertner, president of Women on Campaign, in a statement.
“We are calling on the administration to include these training materials in their updated Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policies, which should include language to address this issue.”
The Women on Front is a non-partisan organization that advocates against sexual harassment, and said it wants to see more journalists and advocacy groups speaking out against the administration’s actions.
“This new administration has made clear that it wants harassment to be invisible, and so we are hoping that these new training materials will be included as part of the President’s agenda for changing sexual harassment policies,” Gerterson said in a press release.
The Women On Front said the administration could have made better use of training on how to handle sexual harassment complaints and reporting it.
“The training materials were never meant to be the basis for reporting or reporting about sexual harassment,” Gerenders said in the statement.
Women on Action for Reproductive Justice, a coalition of organizations that advocates to end abortion and birth control access in the United States, called the training “extremely valuable” and “very important.”
“There are a lot of women who have worked on these stories who will be impacted by the training, and we think that’s a huge step forward,” said Stephanie Seneff, senior policy adviser for the National Women’s Law Center.
“And, as we’ve seen with other training materials, the president’s administration has been more receptive to women who are working on these cases than the previous administration.”
The training is part of a broader effort by the White Houses office of the Office of Civil Rights, or OCR, to address sexual harassment in the workplace.
In June, OCR announced a plan to develop a national workplace harassment strategy.
The goal is to create an open and transparent process for sexual harassment investigations, complaints, and prosecutions and to “ensure that all allegations of harassment and discrimination are investigated and prosecuted.”
A White House official told Business Insider on Tuesday that the office of civil rights was looking into training materials on how best to handle complaints of sexual misconduct.
The official did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A representative for The New Republic declined to comment on the training.
A spokesperson for The Wall St. Journal did not respond to an inquiry on Wednesday.
The OCR also released an updated list of the organizations that are members to its Sexual Harassing and Sexual Harasser program, which outlines how the Office for Civil Rights can investigate and report complaints of harassment or discrimination.
The list also says it is possible to file a complaint with the Office if you believe you have been subjected to sexual violence.
However, the list does not provide any guidance on what to do if the investigation fails.
“Sexual harassment is a complex problem that requires careful consideration and communication from all involved, including those who are the victims of harassment, as well as those who witness it,” the new policy states.
The new guidelines also say the OCR can investigate allegations of discrimination based on sex or gender, but they are not specific about whether this applies to sexual assault or harassment.