Consider this: 71% of all alleged sexual abuse occurs in the workplace but only 25.7% is actually reported to employers.
In 2017, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received nearly 35,000 charges of harassment. With explosive stories of harassment dominating every news channel, that percentage will most certainly increase in 2018.
If you are an employer, now is the time to review workplace conduct policies and train supervisors and employees alike on these issues.
In doing so, consider the following tips:
- Confirm that your company’s policy and training addresses all types of unlawful harassment. “Sexual harassment” policies fall short of addressing harassment based on other protected categories – like age, disability or religion. The EEOC reports that it received over 22,000 charges alleging harassment other than sexual harassment in 2017.
- Ensure that your company has a clear reporting procedure in place. The reporting procedure should allow multiple avenues for employee complaints (such as reporting to a supervisor, reporting to the Human Resources Department or reporting through an anonymous tip line). It should also set a clear expectation for how supervisors should handle complaints.
- Be cognizant of state laws. Do not assume that one policy or training format will be sufficient for all locations. Some states, like California, have specific requirements for anti-harassment policies and training.
- Do not wait to train new supervisors. Even employers that are excellent at new-hire training and annual employee training sometimes overlook advanced workplace conduct training for new supervisors. Consider adjusting your training schedule so that no new supervisor goes into their job without the appropriate tools and information.
- Record training attendance. A simple sign-in sheet, acknowledgment or post-training quiz will help the company to identify any gaps in training and allow you to easily follow up with the people or departments that were missed.
Don’t waste time. Update your policies and hold training sessions before your company is impacted.
Have questions or need help? Contact Josh Emberg.