10 point checklist: Improve your Harassment policy and program in 2017

Your company’s efforts to prevent workplace harassment is still a very important step in controlling the risk of employment lawsuit liability in 2017.  In a 2016 report, the EEOC stated that harassment is still a significant workplace issue and one-third of the 90,000 annual charges have an allegation of harassment. So, even though harassment is not a new risk topic, the statistics show that thousands of companies, large and small, are still being sued for alleged incidents of harassment. Your company should already have a written non-harassment policy communicated to employees. However, in addition it is a good idea to review your company’s entire harassment prevention process annually. To help you, the EEOC recently released some proposed guidance on how to review your company practices and implement practices that reduce the likelihood of employee complaints and protect your company, should an incident arise.

Here is a 10 point checklist to review your company harassment prevention program. It also serves as a roadmap for strengthening your current written policy and current practices.

  1. Does the Company have a written harassment policy – clearly written, easily understood and regularly communicated (translated into languages commonly used by employees)?
  2. Is the policy discussed at new hire and posted for employee common areas?
  3. Has the Company conducted employee training on workplace harassment and/or workplace civility?
  4. Can the Company show resources are devoted to harassment prevention training?
  5. Is there a harassment complaint process? Has it ever been used?
  6. Are there multiple ways to complaint or people to complain to?
  7. Are supervisors trained about identifying, preventing and responding to objectionable conduct (to keep small incidents from becoming prohibited harassment)?
  8. Is non-retaliation specifically addressed in the policy and during training?
  9. Does the Company have a documented process for complaints (intake, steps to follow, written report and disciplinary action form)?
  10. Does ownership/senior leadership assess the program and effectiveness regularly?

Read all the entire EEOC proposed draft Guidance on Harassment.

Consultstu LLC provides fractional HR services to small/mid businesses to lower operational costs, improve business processes and comply with workplace regulations.  We deliver customized HR and safety solutions that provide protection from expensive mistakes and strategies to improve workplace results. Call us at 727-350-0370 or visit http://www.consultstu.com

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