The #MeToo movement has brought an increased focus on sexual harassment in the workplace. Despite the severity of workplace sexual harassment and even sexual assault portrayed in the workplace and businesses’ corresponding actions to prevent such behavior, allegations of this kind of wrongdoing are made all the time. This might leave you, as a business, nervous. After all, there’s only so much that you can do to prevent such actions from occurring, right? Well, here are some ways that you might be able to better protect yourself and your business from sexual harassment allegations and the hostile work environment claims that often accompany them.
- Employee handbook and policies: Your employee handbook and policies need to address sexual harassment head-on. They should make it clear how sexual harassment is defined and what actions may constitute sexual harassment. Policies should clearly prohibit such behavior, and they should dictate the procedures that must be followed to report sexual harassment.
- Continuous training: What constitutes sexual harassment might seem like common sense, but you can better insulate your business from these kinds of claims by providing ongoing training on the topic. This shows that you take sexual harassment seriously and that those who engage in it do so violation of what your business stands for.
- Document everything: A lot of times in sexual harassment cases, the arguments end up boiling down to he-said, she-said situations. If you’re able to back up your position with evidence, though, then you’ll be better suited to successfully defend your business. Therefore, it’s in your best interests to keep email communications, voicemails, and employment records so that you can refer to them later on if needed.
- Fully investigate all claims: By conducting a full investigation of allegations of sexual harassment, you can ensure that you’ve done everything you can to stop the behavior in question and protect your company.
Have an ally on your side
No business wants to be on the receiving end of sexual harassment and hostile work environment allegations, but it happens all the time. If you’re in that position now, then you need to know what you can do to protect yourself. There may be no better way to do so than by working with an attorney who is experienced and successful in this area of the law.