Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – How to Avoid Claims Through being Prepared
Employers must regularly take steps to help prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and educate employees on the importance of this issue. Any problems that arise of a sexual nature should be handled reasonably and efficiently. In order to successfully defend sexual harassment complaints, employers should be able to:
- Maintain a complete workplace sexual harassment policy
- Prove all employees were made aware of the policy
- Prove employees were provided with a formal complaint process to report such claims
- Provide documentation the situation was handled immediately upon notification of a problem
- Defend any claims an employee could be retaliated against for making a complaint
Here are some helpful tips for avoiding sexual harassment in the workplace claims:
- Make sure all employees understand sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Employers must ensure the company policy applies to everyone, including management.
- Distribute the policy to all employees. It should be posted and reinforced. Occasional meetings should be held to remind employees of the importance of following the policy and steps to take if someone does not follow it.
- Make sure all employees are made aware of the policy. Keep attendance logs when meetings are held to remind employees of the policy. In addition, when policies or updates are circulated, employees should sign them and copies should be placed in their human resource files.
- The policy should prohibit harassment in all forms. It should also be applicable to company vendors and customers.
- Employees should be provided with a reasonable and fair complaint protocol.
- Conduct investigations immediately. Several people should be interviewed to ensure information is accurate and the whole picture is provided.
- Employees who witness or are subjected to sexual harassment should be obligated to report it.
- Employees should understand there will be consequences for false complaints.
- Act immediately if harassment has occurred.
- Don’t retaliate in any way against an employee.
- Always use common sense.
- Be consistent in all employee matters.
If strong policies are put in place and regularly shared with employees, the number of claims will most likely be reduced and the chances of an employee prevailing minimized.
Modern Business Associates is an HR company that focuses on payroll and HR outsourcing. We routinely work with clients prepare for and prevent harassment claims. As a Professional Payroll and HR outsource organization, our clients rely on us to help them effectively deal with these kinds of topics.
Currently rated by 0 people