As an employer, you need to be one step ahead of the game in so many ways. One challenging area to do relates to your workforce.
The last thing you want is to face a harassment lawsuit because an employee accuses another employee of harassing or discriminating against them. Yet that lawsuit cannot happen until harassment or discrimination has already occurred. Or at least until someone feels it has occurred. By then, it is already too late for you to do much about it.
Harassment and discrimination lawsuits rarely come out of the blue
These lawsuits might come as a surprise, but they usually should not. Hence why, when one employee complains about a particular person harassing them, others often step forward and say, “Me too.” Or when one person accuses your company of having discriminatory attitudes, others again come forward to say they experienced the same.
How can you ensure you know what is going on?
Here are two steps you can take:
- Make it clear from the start that you will not tolerate harassment or discrimination: It reduces the chance people think you will not notice or will turn a blind eye. If a group of workers regularly engage in inappropriate jokes about a sector of their colleagues, and no one stops them, they will continue or consider it OK to go further.
- Create clear channels for people to report incidents: If you want to ensure a happy workforce, ensure that everyone understands you want to know about issues when they happen. Supply training so that everyone knows what behavior is and is not acceptable and how to report it. Ensure your managers know how to deal with it.
Many sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuits could have been avoided if the company had been more explicit about its policies and reporting procedures. Getting legal help to review yours can help you avoid a difficult situation in the future.