Running a company can be difficult because its success greatly depends on your leadership skills. One of your main tasks is to make sure that the workplace is free from all types of discrimination, including sexual harassment.
Remember, you can be sued if you failed to protect your employees from sexual harassment. This unlawful act occurs when any unwanted sexual conduct or advance creates an offensive, hostile, or intimidating work environment.
You may be held liable in a case if you have committed the actual harassment, failed to investigate complaints filed by an employee, or allowed it to happen in the workplace.
In order to avoid being involved in a time consuming and expensive lawsuit, it is advisable that you follow these tips:
- Train your employees- You should require your employees to undergo sexual harassment training sessions once or twice a year. In these sessions, employees will be given examples of different actions that would constitute sexual harassment. In addition, they will be informed of the proper procedure that is being followed when filing a sexual harassment complaint.
- Train your managers and supervisors- High-ranking employees should also be trained, given that many sexual harassment complaints involve individuals who abuse and ignore the rights of their subordinates.
In California, employers who have about 50 employees should oblige supervisors to undergo a two-hour interactive sexual training for every two years. The state started to enforce this rule back in January 2006.
- Implement clear and strict policies on sexual harassment- You should indicate your stand against sexual harassment in the employee handbook. In addition, you should also specify the different rules on sexual harassment, including the proper investigation procedure and the specific punishments that will be given to anyone who was found guilty of committing it.
- Do not ignore any complaints- If an employee files a sexual harassment complaint, you conduct a private investigation in order to determine if he is telling the truth. You are required to take action, though you think his allegations are untrue.
In addition, you should not reveal any details of the investigation to outside parties because it may affect the alleged victim and harasser's reputation.
If you encountered problems while conducting an investigation or if you were sued for vicarious liability, you should defend your rights by seeking legal assistance from a Los Angeles employment attorney. If you were falsely accused by your employee, this legal expert will gather evidence which will prove your innocence.