Experience has shown that the most effective weapon against workplace sexual harassment is prevention. The burden of preventing sexual harassment rests with the employer. Employers are required by law to take reasonable steps to prevent and address harassment in the workplace. Some suggested tips include:
- Develop an anti-harassment policy together with employees, managers and union representatives.
- Communicate the policy and complaint procedure to all employees and managers.
- Ensure that all managers and supervisors understand their responsibility to provide a workplace free of harassment.
- Make sure all employees understand the anti-harassment policy and complaint procedures including new and long-term employees. Seasonal employees should also be informed accordingly.
- Promptly investigate and address all complaints of harassment.
Having an anti-harassment policy does not mean there will be no harassment complaints. However, being proactive and taking these suggested steps, among others, including periodic training of supervisors and employees will help prevent such claims and ultimately lawsuits.
Ancel Glink’s team of labor and employment attorneys work regularly with employers to develop workplace policies, procedures and training programs tailored to their specific needs.
To learn more, contact Margaret Kostopulos or Darcy L. Proctor.