Michael RothMichael Roth

Chairman Michael Roth issued a memo Monday to Interpublic Group's more than 50K staffers to tip them off about plans to launch a mandatory online sexual harassment course.

Slugged “A Workplace Free from Harassment,” the memo said the class will be designed to ensure employees are familiar with IPG’s “zero tolerance” policy, which is part of its code of conduct, for all types of harassment.

Roth released the memo due to news about “the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace, including in the ad industry.”

IPG defines sexual harassment as more than making inappropriate advances. Roth explained: “It also includes any unwelcome verbal or physical behavior that creates a hostile work environment. You should not be subject to any such behavior by anyone that you come into contact with as part of your job—colleagues, managers, suppliers or clients. And the prohibitions are not limited to off-site events and social gatherings—anywhere that you are with your colleagues or business partners.”

Roth encouraged staffers to report without fear of reprisal any “behavior that runs counter to an inclusive, respectful workplace” to management, human resources or the legal department.

IPG also maintains a hotline that can be used to anonymously report abusive behavior.