Workplace harassment might make a job miserable for a worker. Harassment can affect someone’s income and even their health, which is part of the reason why federal laws prohibit workplace harassment. Workers shouldn’t have to endure mistreatment based on their race, religion, sex, age or other protected characteristics.
Yet, workers aren’t the only ones harmed by on-the-job harassment issues. Ignoring worker complaints of harassment could lead to major financial issues for a business. When an employer faces allegations that it allowed harassment to occur, the company could face major legal costs as it seeks to defend itself in court and even larger losses if its efforts are not successful.
Companies have a lot to lose if workers take them to court while alleging harassment on the job. How do successful organizations protect themselves against such lawsuits?
They have and enforce zero-tolerance policies
One of the main ways that employers seek to protect themselves from harassment lawsuits brought by workers is to have an anti-harassment policy. Zero-tolerance policies about harassment generally include certain types of rules for the business and can help a company generate records that show it proactively creates a positive work environment.
The company will usually provide training for workers on what constitutes harassment and keep records of that training. It will need to have a very clear reporting process for workers who experience misconduct, as well as a process for investigating allegations.
Properly investigating those accused of harassment is crucial for a company hoping to avoid liability for the misconduct of individual employees. The company will also need to have internal records of how it handled the investigation process and what, if any, disciplinary steps it took to resolve the matter. Such records can help show that the organization has done everything in its power to offer a safe and healthy workplace. Ultimately, adopting and enforcing the right policies can go a long way toward protecting a company from lawsuits brought by frustrated employees.