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Setting Up Workplace Policies To Tackle Harassment

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Setting Up Workplace Policies To Tackle Harassment


By DeAnn Flores Chase September 14, 2018    Category: Business Law     Tags: harassment workplace policies

Setting Up Workplace Policies To Tackle Harassment

Workplace harassment is a troubling and difficult subject that’s been increasingly prevalent in the news as more people come forward to discuss their experiences. As a result, businesses that may have previously considered themselves well equipped with policies to prevent and confront harassment are now reevaluating these policies and updating the types of training they provide to supervisors and employees.

As a business owner, it’s important to have clear policies in place to reduce the potential for harassment. These policies help ensure your employees work in an environment that is professional and respectful so they can focus on doing their work.

Setting Up Workplace Policies

As laws and regulations on employment change frequently, businesses should review their employment policies to ensure they are in compliance. The best way for you to record your businesses employment policies is to create an employee handbook, which allows you to clearly communicate policies on leave, discipline, harassment, etc. This handbook should be updated every time you make a policy change. At a minimum, businesses need to review and update their employee handbook at least once a year to stay in compliance with new rules and regulations.

When you are developing policies to prevent harassment it’s important to include a broad definition of harassment. In California, harassment has been expanded to include: sexual harassment because of a person’s sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status and sexual orientation. This means that you should create clear policies forbidding harassment and discrimination based on of any protected class and forbidding retaliation for those who make complaints or participate in investigations.

You should be sure to include a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination, harassment – sexual or otherwise, or retaliation against those who make complaints with specific examples, tailored to your business, of behavior that will not be tolerated. Your policies should also contain clear ramifications for individuals that engage in harassing or discriminatory behavior. These could be a warning, a citation, a requirement to attend training, and dismissal depending on the severity of the charges.

These policies should also contain a clear process for employees on how and to whom harassment issues should be reported. In some cases, employees can report to their managers, but in others, they may want to be able to reach out to an HR representative. In either situation, it’s important to make sure the employee has the ability to contact and connect with the right person. Their email address or phone number should be readily available, you may also consider an open-door policy.

Workplace harassment is a troubling and difficult subject that’s been increasingly prevalent in the news as more people come forward to discuss their experiences. As a result, businesses that may have previously considered themselves well equipped with policies to prevent and confront harassment are now reevaluating these policies and updating the types of training they provide to supervisors and employees.

As a business owner, it’s important to have clear policies in place to reduce the potential for harassment. These policies help ensure your employees work in an environment that is professional and respectful so they can focus on doing their work.

Setting Up Workplace Policies

As laws and regulations on employment change frequently, businesses should review their employment policies to ensure they are in compliance. The best way for you to record your businesses employment policies is to create an employee handbook, which allows you to clearly communicate policies on leave, discipline, harassment, etc. This handbook should be updated every time you make a policy change. At a minimum, businesses need to review and update their employee handbook at least once a year to stay in compliance with new rules and regulations.

When you are developing policies to prevent harassment it’s important to include a broad definition of harassment. In California, harassment has been expanded to include: sexual harassment because of a person’s sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status and sexual orientation. This means that you should create clear policies forbidding harassment and discrimination based on of any protected class and forbidding retaliation for those who make complaints or participate in investigations.

You should be sure to include a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination, harassment – sexual or otherwise, or retaliation against those who make complaints with specific examples, tailored to your business, of behavior that will not be tolerated. Your policies should also contain clear ramifications for individuals that engage in harassing or discriminatory behavior. These could be a warning, a citation, a requirement to attend training, and dismissal depending on the severity of the charges.

These policies should also contain a clear process for employees on how and to whom harassment issues should be reported. In some cases, employees can report to their managers, but in others, they may want to be able to reach out to an HR representative. In either situation, it’s important to make sure the employee has the ability to contact and connect with the right person. Their email address or phone number should be readily available, you may also consider an open-door policy.

Training Management & Demonstrating Management Takes Reports Seriously

For California employers with more than 50 employees, training managers and supervisors on sexual harassment is mandatory within six months of their hiring or promotion and then every two years thereafter. Those with fewer employees should provide regular training to ensure that those in a supervisory or management position are able to prevent and handle harassment-related issues as they occur. Training also helps the individuals in these positions to evaluate their words and actions and how these could be perceived by employees. Making the training mandatory, and highlighting its importance is key to preventing situations that could arise.

Supervisors and management should handle every employee complaint carefully, starting by initiating the investigation process outlined in the Employee Handbook. The specific steps involved in investigating claims will depend on company policy and the specific situation giving rise to the complaint. Generally, this process begins by documenting the employee’s complaint and initiating investigation into the matter. However, at every step in the process it is important that Management and Supervisors communicate to the employee that steps are being taken to investigate the situation and handle any resulting issues in accordance with the policies in outlined in the employee handbook.

Chase Law Group, P.C. helps our clients design a set of company policies that fit in with current California and federal regulations as well as meet business goals. Our experienced business attorneys will look at your specific situation, work with your human resources team to discuss the best ways to implement these policies, and help you when complex situations arise. Schedule a consultation by calling (310) 545-7700 today.

For California employers with more than 50 employees, training managers and supervisors on sexual harassment is mandatory within six months of their hiring or promotion and then every two years thereafter. Those with fewer employees should provide regular training to ensure that those in a supervisory or management position are able to prevent and handle harassment-related issues as they occur. Training also helps the individuals in these positions to evaluate their words and actions and how these could be perceived by employees. Making the training mandatory, and highlighting its importance is key to preventing situations that could arise.

Supervisors and management should handle every employee complaint carefully, starting by initiating the investigation process outlined in the Employee Handbook. The specific steps involved in investigating claims will depend on company policy and the specific situation giving rise to the complaint. Generally, this process begins by documenting the employee’s complaint and initiating investigation into the matter. However, at every step in the process it is important that Management and Supervisors communicate to the employee that steps are being taken to investigate the situation and handle any resulting issues in accordance with the policies in outlined in the employee handbook.

Chase Law Group, P.C. helps our clients design a set of company policies that fit in with current California and federal regulations as well as meet business goals. Our experienced business attorneys will look at your specific situation, work with your human resources team to discuss the best ways to implement these policies, and help you when complex situations arise. Schedule a consultation by calling (310) 545-7700 today.