September Question and Answer

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Original Photo by: Huffington Post

Our monthly question and answer section covers work place best practices. This month we dive into computer safety. The invention of the computer along with the internet has shaped workplace culture. Now with social media, internet search engines, and online communication, it is easy to find information. So what do you do when the information found online disrupts the workplace? We have you covered with this month’s question and answer.

Q: An employee has informed me that he was offended by a suggestive photo a coworker showed him on the computer. What do I need to do now?

A: You have a duty as an employer to make sure that any behavior that could constitute unlawful harassment, bullying, or workplace violence is investigated and stopped immediately. Failure to do so could expose you to liability, since you knew about the inappropriate behavior. Visual conduct such as displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons, or posters may constitute unlawful sexual harassment. Thus, we recommend you take immediate steps to correct this behavior. We recommend that you thoroughly investigate this allegation by interviewing the complainant, any witnesses, and lastly, the accused. Based on the results of the investigation, you may need to discipline the offending employee in a manner consistent with your workplace discipline practices. Be sure to document your conversations as well as the discipline chosen and your specific reasons for taking that course of action.

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