Most recently, allegations of sexual harassment have swept the nation across many industries. Some very public, well respected and powerful figures in media, Hollywood and politics have been accused of sexual harassment, some have lost their jobs and it is reported that companies have paid out settlement or are at risk at this point in time. Others who have engaged in inappropriate behavior are likely waiting for the next shoe to drop. Although companies conduct sexual harassment training, can they do more to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace?
While the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace and inappropriate behavior is in the lime light now so to speak, it has been an ongoing matter that companies faced for years and had a legal obligation to be diligent about investigating and taking appropriate action to protect their employees and protect the company interest.
Sexual Harassment has cost companies Millions of dollars in settlement. If you do a comparison, it shows that the cost of these settlements are rising.
It has been reported that:
At Fox news, women received millions of dollars in payouts.
Former Knicks Executive was awarded 11.6 Million by Jury in 2007 (some of which was expected to be paid by the individuals themselves).
Going back to 1998, Paula Jones received a settlement of $850,000 to settle and drop her lawsuit.
Are you confident your managers know what to do if there is a sexual harassment in the workplace complaint?
Are you confident your company is doing what is required and not at risk for a major multi-million-dollar lawsuit?
Perhaps it’s time to seek out an expert to help take the appropriate preventative measure.
As an experienced Human Resources executive with over 15 years experience in varied human resources positions, I have conducted more than my fair share of sensitive human resources investigations. I held myself, my team and our managers to very high standards. I worked at Fortune 500 companies such as Coca-Cola Enterprises and ConAgra that held high standards regarding creating a safe culture and environment for employees.
Throughout my career, we took sexual harassment complaints very seriously, conducted thorough, fair and timely investigations and took a hard line in taking immediate and appropriate action. It’s critical to keep in mind, an accusation of harassment does not necessarily mean harassment can be substantiated or has occurred. The appropriate steps and measures must be followed, and each complaint must be taken very seriously. Fostering a culture where employees feel safe to come forward and managers understand and follow the right procedures and show a level of sensitivity to all parties is absolutely critical.
Our Services to Limit Company Exposure and Foster a Zero Tolerance Sexual Harassment Culture
Key Sexual Harassment Training Focuses
Sexual Harassment Training for Managers and Fostering a Safe Culture
Educating your staff. Many people don’t know what is and is not harassment. Many people do not understand the laws and some of the subtleties.
Creating a culture where employees feel safe to come forward is important. Understanding how to handle sensitive matters such as harassment complaints is a costly area of opportunity for many and one that we address in detail.
Case Studies that allow managers to practice dealing with sensitive situations in a safe environment, so they are better prepared. Testing their knowledge post training in a safe environment.
Limiting company exposure by providing training, giving managers the tools they need and offering it in a digestible format.
Conveying the seriousness of Sexual Harassment and reinforcing your zero-tolerance policy.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – Conducting Investigations, Review of Procedures and Policies with HR
Evaluating your policies and procedures, making recommendations as needed. Tightening up your procedures if needed.
Conducting thorough investigations and taking immediate action. Demonstrating how to handle investigation objectively and tactfully. What to do if allegations are not substantiated. Making sure all parties are treated fairly and feel safe to share; the accused, the accuser, potential witnesses, others that may have been affected, and third parties.
Harassment policies, procedures and complaints must be handled appropriately. Not doing so can cost the company in terms of morale, loss of productivity, the company’s reputation and potential litigation and possibly significant settlement fees.
We are here to guide you through the process and provide tools to help prepare managers and reduce company exposure.