Sexual Harassment can happen to any employer, manager or employee, we are all at risk. Herman Cain may be completely innocent of these allegations. However, most employers when these issues arise, will often times settle the cases before they go to court as the legal fees alone will usually be a far great dollar amount than the amount settled for in a much quicker time frame for resolution. Neither side is admitting fault but the settlement makes the matter go away.
What can employers do to protect themselves? Jeff Garr, CEO of HR Knowledge, Inc., a leading Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the Northeast with offices in Mansfield and Waltham, explains there are a number of rules to set in motion as employers to ensure that companies and their employees are protected from frivolous law suits. Garr provides an easy set of guidelines to follow which are outlined below:
1. Create and maintain an up-to-date Employee Guideline or Manual. This Manual should contain all of the legal laws and regulations required by local and national laws. In addition, please ensure that all employees sign a notice of acceptance of this Manual and keep those signed/dated documents in a safe and secure place.
2. Provide annual Sexual Harassment Training for your entire company. This training should help employees understand the do’s and don’ts of supporting a positive work environment. In addition, have each employee sign a letter of acceptance that they have gone through this annual training.
3. Ensure that the Policy in the Employee Guideline/Manual for Sexual Harassment is followed and supported by all in the company. If there is an employee that is feeling as though they are being sexually harassed ensure that proper procedures and or an investigation ensues in order to determine what the issues are. Whatever you do don’t turn your head and act as though nothing happened, this can only make the employee angry and create a better likelihood of the employee suing the employer and or the employee. Remember that not only is the Employer subject to liability but so is the employee if they are the one doing the harassing.
4. Purchase an EPLI policy from your Liability Insurance Provider. EPLI stands for Employment Practice Liability Insurance. This is the only insurance in place to protect the employer and its employees from this sort of litigation. Without this insurance coverage the employer will run blind and the meter will start ticking with any attorney hired to defend you. This policy will also insure that you will be provided Legal Representation. These suits can bankrupt a company if the damages are great enough and they don’t have this insurance.
5. Enlist the services of a strong HR Outsourcing Company or have HR Professionals on board as employees. These professionals can help ensure that you are doing the right thing every day in every way. Notify them early on of any potential issues so that they can start the process of investigating and working on making sure level heads prevail and move forward in a positive way.
For more information or to arrange a speaking engagement with HR guru Jeff Garr, contact (508) 339-1300.
About HR Knowledge, Inc.
HR Knowledge, Inc. is a leading Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the Northeast. HR Knowledge has the experience and technology to efficiently provide best-in-class integrated HR services at an affordable cost to clients.
HR Knowledge’s leaders have more than 100 years of combined experience and provide expert guidance in Human Resource management, Group Benefits Brokerage, Payroll Processing & Managed Services, Financial Services and Recruiting and Hiring Process Management (HPM).
Through their comprehensive Human Resource Services, HR Knowledge helps organizations minimize operational risks, reduce administrative costs and better serve their people.
HR Knowledge has been recognized as a Gold Level Broker by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare. The company is headquartered at 905B South Main Street, Suite 203 in Mansfield and their second office is located at 890 Winter Street, Suite 208 in Waltham, MA. For more information, contact (508) 339-1300 or visit their website at www.hrknowledge.com