Discrimination and harassment claims against your company can be time-consuming, costly and embarrassing. To have a safe and healthy work environment you need to make sure that everyone is on the same page about harassment and discrimination. A detailed anti-harassment policy is your company’s first line of defense against claims, but just having a policy isn’t enough. Here are 5 ways to protect your company from harassment complaints.
Develop an anti-harassment/discrimination policy
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a good anti-harassment policy should contain:
- A detailed description of prohibited conduct
- Protection from retaliation for those who report harassment or discrimination
- Procedures for reporting harassment
- Assurance that best efforts will be made to keep complaints confidential
- A quick, thorough and unbiased investigation
- Assurance that immediate corrective action will be taken if harassment is found to have occurred
- Clearly defined consequences for violating the harassment policy
Distribute and post your policy company-wide
You need to make sure that all members of your company receive and understand your policy. Have your employees sign an anti-harassment agreement and keep it in each employee’s file. It is a good idea to outline your policy and display it in a common space where employees gather.
Educate and train management
Harassment can be difficult to identify and sometimes managers do not know how to respond to complaints appropriately. By training your managers with specific examples you can eliminate much of the guess work. Provide training that is interactive so they can ask questions or receive feedback.
Provide training to new hires and to all employees on an annual basis
Providing harassment training to new hires is important because it helps to ensure that all employees understand harassment and discrimination and how to avoid it. You should also train your employees on the consequences of violating your anti-harassment/discrimination policy.
Give your employees options for reporting harassment
It is best that to have at least one person of each gender designated to receive harassment complaints. There have been cases where the person doing the harassment is the same person an employee would need to report the harassment to. This can make it difficult for the person experiencing the harassment to report it. Make sure to give your employees a few options for reporting harassment quickly and confidentially.
If you would like more information on how to protect your company from harassment complaints, register for our free webinar. It will be held on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 11am CST. If you register, you’ll have access to regular HR trainings for your staff and managers to attend. Click on the link below to register!