Recent NBC poll indicates 48% of women in U.S. reported unwelcome sexual advance or verbal/physical harassment at work. Also recent events from the worlds of Hollywood, politics, and business have brought to our attention once again how pervasive this issue is.
In a 2016 EEOC report of Harassment in Workplace it has been found that 1/3 of EEOC charges include workplace harassment of all types. Yet they found that ¾ of individuals never report harassment.
What should be done when the alleged wrongdoer is the boss? Provide in your written policy an alternate reporting relationship, such as an attorney, another manager, or human resources.
The culture of an organization can make or break success at eliminating harassment. Foster anti-harassment and bullying culture. Show a commitment to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace in how employees treat each other and how bosses deal with employees.
It starts at the top. Courts find that management sets the tone and example. Hold employees accountable, managers are the most valuable resource in prevention and stopping harassment
Empower bystanders – co-workers, customers, clients, supervisors – all part of stopping harassment by saying something, act as a witness, reporting wrongful behavior.
Prevention through assessing extent of problem occurs when an organization places value on it. Anti-harassment policies in place also include how to complain and report and to whom. Provide multiple contacts as alternatives to reporting.
Initiate an objective and timely investigation. No retaliation should be taken against the complainant, witnesses or alleged wrongdoer until the investigation is complete. Consider whether the current working and reporting relationships are appropriate pending the final outcome. Discipline when findings support this.
Unionized employers – union ensure its own policy and reporting meets standards. A Union Rep needs to be allowed if an investigation occurs to assist the union member.
Include on regular and repeated basis and employer wide (include civility codes)
Management/ supervisory training on how to respond to harassment observed or reported
Bystander Intervention training as part of overall prevention program
Need an outside and independent resource to assist in these sensitive areas? TRIAD HR Consulting conducts training and investigations to assist you. Contact Dorothy@triadhrconsulting.com or visit the website for more information.