All organizations in the world take different measures to prevent workplace harassment, but there is no guaranteed way to stop it from happening. Employers can establish procedures to address them legally and ethically. However, their implementation can come with a separate set of challenges.
Receiving, handling, and resolving harassment reports can be daunting, especially for employers without prior experience. Still, it is essential when complying with federal and state employment laws. Failing to maintain standards when addressing harassment incidents can lead to legal trouble and further complaints from involved parties.
It is best to avoid these pitfalls by using the law as a basis when creating anti-harassment policies within the company. Adopting best practices can ensure employers can process these reports properly without committing violations.
Knowing what to do after receiving a report
The first step to effectively addressing workplace harassment is knowing what to do about it. Once a report comes in, employers should immediately assess the situation and determine the appropriate process proportionate to its severity. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible to end mild cases with adequate disciplinary actions and counseling.
Other incidents can be severe, requiring a formal investigation. This procedure must also follow specific standards of impartiality and due process. These steps could be necessary for employers to comply with the law and allow employees to exercise their rights.
Protecting employees and the organization
Carelessness when handling harassment reports can have grave repercussions. Inadequate company policies and procedures could leave employees unsatisfied, potentially leading to further legal action and implicating the employer. There are often no downsides to implementing best practices when addressing and preventing workplace harassment, especially if they benefit the organization.