If you run a business, you owe it to your employees to create a safe environment for them to work. That doesn't just include their physical safety—it also includes their mental and emotional safety. That means that you need to do what you can to protect your employees from sexual harassment. Any form of sexual harassment is wrong. It can create a toxic environment for people to work in. As a business owner, you are your employees' first line of defense against sexual harassment in the workplace. In fact, as a business owner, you can be held liable for instances of sexual harassment, meaning that your employees can sue you for the harassment they receive at work. This is particularly true if you don't take an active role in preventing the practice. Here are four steps you can take to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
Implement a Sexual Harassment Policy
When it comes to preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, it's crucial that you have a clear policy regarding the practice. If you don't have a sexual harassment policy in effect right now, you need to take care of that immediately. Your policy should include guidelines for filing a complaint, a clear chain of command, as well as a clear policy for how sexual harassment will be dealt with. It's also important that you include guidelines for jumping the chain of command when a supervisor is the one doing the harassing.
Take Every Complaint Seriously
One of the problems with filing a sexual harassment claim is that they aren't always taken seriously. In many cases, sexual harassment complaints are seen more as a bother, rather than a serious issue. Unfortunately, this creates an environment where people are afraid to report incidences of sexual harassment. To prevent this from happening, it's important that you take each complaint of sexual harassment seriously.
Have a Noticeable Presence
When you run a business, you need to have a noticeable presence, especially when you're trying to prevent sexual harassment. Employees are far less likely to engage in problematic and offensive behavior when they know that they might be caught by the boss. To prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, make sure you spend some time each day with your employees.
Know That Sexual Harassment Knows No Gender
The recent #metoo campaign brought sexual harassment to the forefront of the news. It got people to open up and communicate about the problem. However, it also brought out the fact that sexual harassment knows no gender. Virtually any person can be marginalized and affected by sexual harassment. To prevent sexual harassment in your workplace, it's important that you understand that any one of your employees is a potential victim of the practice.
If you run a business, it's important that you take steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. If you have questions or concerns about your role as a business owner, you should speak to an employment law attorney near you.
Hello, I'm Christina Miller. Have you ever been fascinated with why the law works the way it does? Ever since I was in junior high, I had an intense interest in anything related to our legal system, whether it be a crime drama on television, a judge show or a legal case covered on the news. I followed it all. As time progressed, I began learning about how the actual legal system worked and not just the fictionalized version of our legal system. This has lead me to start writing my own blog posts about law that I hope will help others.