7 Risk Factors for Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
7 Risk Factors for Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
With the “Me Too” movement in full effect, employers are more vulnerable than ever before to sexual harassment lawsuits. Even the most professional work environments can foster this type of behavior. With greater sensitivity to issues like sexual harassment in the workplace, businesses in Texas are at risk of being sued for harassment.
The costs of sexual harassment are great. Not only will your company face large sexual harassment settlements, but there are also expensive by-products of this type of litigation. Some of the ancillary costs of sexual harassment include:
- Higher costs of harassment prevention
- Loss of credibility with clients, customers and the public
- Jeopardization of business relationships
- Domino effect
- Enforcement costs
- Legal costs
- Loss of valuable employees
In order to avoid these costs, it’s important that your business implement strict and meaningful sexual harassment policies. It’s wise to get the advice of a sexual harassment lawyer in Texas to ensure that your organization is protected.
Some industries employ a rather homogenous workforce. When a company employs mostly men, it can be difficult to ensure that females are protected from crude and potentially harassing behavior.
It’s important that your managers are properly trained to prevent, detect and address sexual harassment in the workplace. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. If you implement effective policies and procedures dealing with sexual harassment, you will reduce your company’s risk level.
You may have certain groups of employees that have a habit of ignoring the rules. These employees can make it very difficult for a business to operate in a safe and harassment free fashion.
One bad employee can indeed ruin it for the whole bunch. When it comes to sexual harassment, your employees are the ones on the front lines. If they don’t behave appropriately and follow the rules, they are jeopardizing your entire organization.
Employing a Young Workforce
While there are very qualified young workers out there, you have to make sure you don’t put your company at risk. Younger employees don’t have the experience or awareness necessary to make good decisions. They may put your company at unnecessary risk in the way they deal with coworkers, clients and the public.
It’s important to spend the time and money necessary to train all of your employees about sexual harassment. Make sure you have written policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment. Also make sure you do periodic assessments to ensure that your employees are properly trained.
Almost every business has a handful of employees who are considered “high value.” This means that they tend to get away with things that other employees cannot. It’s critical that you curb this kind of tolerance.
Employees need to follow the rules no matter how valuable your company may think they are. It doesn’t matter if they’re your top salesman or not, they need to respect the rules.
If the layout of your company includes a lot of isolated workspaces, you need to be careful. When women (or men) are stationed apart from the rest of the company, they are at an elevated risk of being harassed.
If other employees think they can act a certain way because there’s nobody around to observe their behavior, you need to be careful. It may be a good idea to restructure your employees’ work stations to account for this risk.
Encouraging or Tolerating Alcohol
If your company encourages or tolerates the use of alcohol while at work, you are opening yourself up to liability. Even if your employees are enjoying an off-site company party, it’s never a good idea to encourage the consumption of alcohol.
If someone behaves in an inappropriate way as a result of being intoxicated, your company will still be liable. Don’t create an unnecessary risk by allowing your employees to drink on company time.
Tips and Commission
If you operate a business in the Texas service industry, your employees are at a heightened risk for sexual harassment. Dealing with customers can be very risky. When your employees feel the pressure of competing for tips, they put themselves in situations likely to result in sexual harassment.
Contact a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Texas Today
If you operate a business in Texas and feel you may be vulnerable to sexual harassment claims, call a skilled sexual harassment lawyer today. It’s important that you protect your company’s bottom line, your investment and your reputation.
An experienced sexual harassment lawyer at Brent Coon & Associates can evaluate your company and make recommendations to reduce this sort of risk. Call today and schedule a consultation.
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