Demonstrate that Your Firm Won’t Tolerate Harassment

file6831274905127It’s probably impossible for your company to eliminateĀ any chance of harassment, but there are precautions you can take to help win a lawsuit filed by an employee:

  • Above all, have a sound company policy against harassment, which includes discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or any other class protected by federal, state, or local law.
  • Make sure your employees are aware of the policy. Spread the word through orientation sessions and your employee handbook.
  • Require staff members to sign an agreement indicating that they understand the policy.
  • At least once a year, train your employees and managers on the subject of harassment and its consequences. Employees must be told how to report incidents and feel they can without retaliation.

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Resolve Employee Complaints Through Investigation

control-427510_1280Employee complaints that allege mistreatment at work have to be taken seriously. Even if you doubt the legitimacy of a complaint, you’ll put your company in peril if you fail to delve into what really happened. However, a poorly executed investigation could do more harm than good and potentially sink you in legal hot water.

Under federal law, you’re required to investigate any complaints involving harassment, discrimination, retaliation or safety issues. But even when a complaint seems small enough that employees should beĀ able to work it out themselves – such as loud music blaring from a cubicle – don’t ignore it. The matter may not rise to the level of bringing in upper management, but employees need to know you take their concerns seriously. Continue reading