Cincinnati companies and those located elsewhere have multiple plans. They have business plans, revenue plans, growth plans, product plans and succession plans. If they don't have a plan to keep the workplace free of harassment, they should make one -- right away.
A good plan for a harassment-free workplace can make employees feel secure in the knowledge that their company is on their side. Harassment prevention protocols can be great for company morale. But such plans also serve to protect your company from lawsuits.
Here are some of the components of creating a workplace free of harassment.
- Write a no-harassment policy. Define harassment and include scenarios as examples. Let employees know they should report what they consider harassment and explain just how to do that. Tell them complaints will be investigated right away and that action will be taken, if the investigation finds it to be warranted.
- Make clear who will address the complaints. It would be best to have two human resource officers, a man and a woman. Train them in the proper method to handle complaints.
- Distribute the policy to all employees. They must sign it to acknowledge they have read it. That copy goes in their personnel files, and they should have a copy of their own. Also post it prominently in the workplace.
- Offer anti-harassment training to both employees and managers. This will send a signal to all employees that you're serious. Employees need to know their jobs will be on the line if it's determined that they have committed an act of harassment. The training will show them just what acts constitute harassment.
If an employee brings forward a complaint, the people you designated to field complaints should listen carefully, ask questions and let the employee know this is being taken very seriously. Then, a written report detailing the complaint should be prepared and passed on to an investigator's prompt attention. Once the investigation is complete, appropriate action should be taken.
Your business could be at risk if harassment is allowed to persist and claims are not handled properly. If you don't have an anti-harassment plan, it's time you should. An Ohio employment law attorney can assist you with that.