With recent media coverage creating a renewed awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace, allegations are on the rise. In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, employers may be liable for sexual harassment that takes place inside or outside of the workplace between employees. There is also exposure if harassment occurs between an employee and a third party who interacts with the company.
There are certain proactive and reactive things you can do to protect your company. Some of the best protections an employer has in the defense of a lawsuit are having an up to date policy manual and offering annual sexual harassment training. Another approach is to take all verbal and written statements, allegations or information from any party about sexual harassment and properly investigate the allegations, and if true, take necessary action to stop the harassment. Investigations are instrumental in aiding an employer to deal with problem employees, clients and/or vendors and to avoid liability. Do not ignore information. Keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Quickly putting a stop to sexual innuendo, touch, jokes, etc., can save a small business from closing its doors due to costly litigation and save a large business from reputation damage and monetary losses.
Parker McCay’s Employment Department has years of experience in drafting employee manuals tailored to all types of business, providing training to supervisor and/or employees on anti-harassment and discrimination, and conducting investigations on all types of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. We know what to look for and what questions to ask. Contact our Employment and Labor Department.
The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should consult a lawyer concerning your specific situation and any specific legal question you may have.