1. September 2009 23:25
How do you make sure your workplace is free of harassment? Getting socked with an employee sexual harassment claim is not only bad for your business, it could also be bad for you!
Depending on state law, managers and supervisors may have individual liability when it comes to sexual harassment claims made by an employee. Here are a few examples of suit actions on which you can be named along with your company:
- Not taking quick and appropriate action for harassment situations that were known or should have been known;
- Aiding, abetting, or engaging in sexual harassment; or
- Retaliating against an employee for making a complaint
To help ensure a workplace environment that is free of harassment, consider applying and establishing the tips set forth in the HRAdvisor newsletter this month. I've posted some of the tips here for your reading pleasure.
- Establish a written Employee Handbook policy specifically addressing a hostile work environment.
- Update the company's electronic assets usage (i.e. Internet, texting) policies specifically addressing sexual harassment issues.
- Train Management and employees on what sexual harassment is and how to avoid it.
- Investigate each complaint and report immediately.
- Document all information gathered in the investigation of a complaint.
- Don't overreact and stick to the facts. Managers and supervisors who do overreact and jump to unfounded conclusions toward an accused employee are held accountable as likely as those who do nothing.
- Communicate with involved parties while emphasizing protection of confidentiality and privacy as appropriately as possible.
- Keep aware whether following-up on specific cases or monitoring the workplace in general.