Sexual Harassment at my Company? …Never!

Don’t be so certain that your business is immune to inappropriate behaviors. Just a quick read of the news lately reveals that sexual harassment remains a significant issue in our society.

For a business, the mere threat of a harassment complaint should be scary. A main reason is that a sexual harassment lawsuit of any kind can bring large financial liability. Another, and perhaps more important, reason for concern is the tremendous embarrassment that such claims bring upon a business. The harm to a company’s good will may be permanent. Attracting and keeping good employees becomes harder.

As a result, an employer must regularly inform its staff that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in its workplace. It must have a strong written policy prohibiting such conduct, and it must enforce that policy with zero tolerance.

The employer should conduct annual harassment prevention training for its staff, particularly its managers who are the first line of defense. The managers, who can be personally exposed to liability under certain circumstances, will benefit from an understanding of the law, the risks, the warning signs and their obligations.  Employers and their managers need to be able to recognize behaviors that may be considered offensive and hostile in the workplace, and they must know how to quickly and properly respond. All employees should know and understand their rights and their responsibilities relative to sexual harassment . Good communication about these issues is the best way to prevent harassment and related claims.

A well-crafted training course is therefore a vital risk management tool for all employers. It demonstrates an employer’s commitment to a workplace that is free from sexual harassment and intimidation, and thereby sends a strong and necessary message to the staff about the type of professional workplace you maintain.

Foley & Foley, PC provides sexual harassment prevent training for our clients. If you have a need, you can get more information at 508-548-4888 or via email at tim@foleylawpractice.com.

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