If you have employees and one of them comes to you claiming that they’ve been sexually harassed, do you know what to do? This is a serious situation that could come back to hurt your company, so handling it quickly and professionally is key.
Sometimes, employees do have bad experiences at work. As an employer, you may decide to have a no-tolerance rule at work where anyone who commits an offense against another employee is immediately terminated. You may also talk to both parties to get more information about what happened and take that information to your attorney before deciding the best way to move forward.
You have options to stop sexual harassment in the workplace
One nice thing about being the boss is that you have the power to take action against harassment in your workplace. Besides setting up a zero-tolerance rule and having an open-door policy allowing people to come to you with concerns, you may want to:
- Train management on employment law regulations
- Provide anti-sexual harassment training to your workforce
- Draft employee handbooks that go over what is or is not allowed among employee interactions. For example, you may forbid relationships between employees of different ranks
- Set up a human resources officer who can be the first person to handle concerns made by workers
- Have a standard for handling all workplace complaints, such as investigating and coming up with a resolution within a specific timeframe
Most employees just want to know that they are going to come to work and be in a respectful atmosphere. If you have employees who are accusing each other of wrongdoing, it is your responsibility to take care of the situation. That might mean terminating the offending employee’s role at the company or moving the offending employee to a different shift. That may also mean requesting evidence of wrongdoing, so you can be sure you’re not terminating an employee who did nothing wrong.
It can be difficult to be an employer sometimes, but if you set up the right standards and requirements from the start, you can make sure people know what to expect if they want to report sexual harassment and you need to investigate that claim.