Sexual harassment lawsuits can prove to be very expensive for employers if they don’t take appropriate measures to protect their workforce and investigate complaints immediately. While sexual harassment claims are undoubtedly a nightmare for employers, often their own actions contribute to the cause.

Every employer has the opportunity to reduce the risk of damages and litigation in two areas, their sexual harassment policies, and the method of investigation following a complaint of abuse or discrimination. You want to use sexual harassment lawyers less, not more.

Sexual harassment policy

Sexual harassment lawyers recommend that every organization big or small implement a stringent sexual harassment and discrimination policy that must be created with careful thought otherwise the policy could create major hurdles in enforcement. If you want some more information along these lines, here is a site for you: http://employment-law.usattorneys.com/.

The reporting system ought to be the major focus where instead of an accuser being made to report through the chain of command there ought to be an alternate reporting channel. This allows the employee to file a report through a bias-free system. One of the mistakes that employers sometimes make is to have the reporting rely on the written statement of witnesses and the accused. There are cases where the accuser could be too intimidated.

Reporting system

It is important to create a policy where supervisors and subordinates are required to report any intimate relationship between those in the direct reporting channel to the management as soon as possible. This allows the management to remain alert of the relationship and help the employer identify any favoritism or harassment.

Training

Training is another important aspect according to sexual harassment attorneys. This will allow every employee to understand the organization’s sexual harassment policy and know what action to take and how to report any case of sexual harassment or discrimination. Apart from regular training, supervisors must be aware that they are responsible of reporting any harassment to human resources as soon as they have knowledge of it so that the investigation process can begin as soon as possible.

 

Mistakes employers make

One of the costliest mistakes that some employers make is to not take any sexual harassment or discrimination claim seriously. It is important for every claim to be treated with the same seriousness and attention. Each investigation must be conducted in good faith without any bias even if the complainant or the accused have been tagged with a certain type of personality.

Sexual harassment lawyers also stress the importance of conducting a thorough investigation following any complaint. This includes a comprehensive review of all records, evaluation of evidence, and interviews with all those who may be involved including witnesses. All relevant information must be well documents while the investigation should be kept confidential. Any leak of information could lead to further damage and litigation as well.

The consequences of retaliation

While many employers have a sexual harassment policy in place, they often fail bring it to the notice of the accused that any form of retaliation against the accuser is not acceptable. Statistics from the EEOC indicate that retaliation accounted for 42.8% of all charges in FY 2014. For the most part, any form of retaliation against a complainant by an employer is in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws. The high powered legal pros on this site know all about those laws and principles.

Every step must be taken to ensure that the complainant is aware that his or her complaint has been taken seriously. In addition, the complainant and the accused ought to be separated during the period of investigation in order to avoid any risk of retaliation. Any sexual harassment lawyer will certainly advocate this. Regular follow-ups with the complainant are essential while every effort must be made by the employer to monitor the behavior of the accused with the complainant.