Dealing with Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

It seems like the dam has finally burst with complaints by victims of unwanted sexual advances coming from all walks of life: the government, the media, corporations and institutions of every kind. Some instances have been recent, but many seem to have taken place years ago. People who were afraid to speak out long ago due to possible fear of retribution or simply not being believed or judged as immature themselves are now coming forth in a tsunami. Beyond the obvious immorality of these acts and the psychosocial damage to the victim as well as ramifications now to the perpetrators, there is the associated financial liability and damage to the reputation of the companies that employ them — as well as those who may be even tangentially involved in such incidents.

It is this risk I address here.

Your company should already have mandated sexual harassment training in place for your employees, be they your internal employees, temps on assignment, or those who should reasonably be expected to report obvious cases of observed abuse. To expect that people will act in a morally responsible way may be a bit more than one should assume. In today’s litigious atmosphere one can expect these cases to result in the equivalent of a full employment act for attorneys.

And, your company should have more than sufficient insurance in place to insulate it from such situations. While doing so now cannot indemnify your company from prior bad acts, have your HR department and managers read the riot act to their people on this subject, with very clear documentation on how to proactively deal with all types of situations, and mitigate risks after unforeseen incidents take place.

No amount of effort can prevent bad actors and human nature. But you can help protect your business by having severe ramifications in place for those who do not follow established rules and procedures.

MORE: Sexual harassment in the Staffing Industry: The PRoblem

Michael Neidle

Michael Neidle
Michael Neidle is president and CEO of Optimal Management, an advisor to staffing firm owners and managers.

Michael Neidle

Share This Post


Recent Articles

Powered by ·