Workplace Harassment Laws
What do we have to concern ourselves with when it comes to Workplace Harassment Laws? Of course our primary concern should be to understand them so that we don’t violate them and/or any of our employees don’t either! Yes, that’s right you could be responsible for your employee’s violating the harassment laws also if you haven’t fulfilled your responsibility to inform/train them.
As an example California AB 1825 is a Workplace Harassment Law regarding Sexual Harassment in California. They have made it mandatory for companies to train their supervisor’s which certainly places a huge burden on the companies financially because of the way the law was written! Those that don’t comply will receive harsh punishments if they have an employee come forth claiming sexual harassment and they did not comply with the California AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Laws! Don’t want to be the first company to test the California AB 1825 Law!
If your employee’s were not informed of workplace harassment laws in some way that this was a violation your organization could be a risk of being sued!
So what are some violations of Workplace Harassment Laws? Well we just mentioned Sexual Harassment, but harassment involves any protected class of individuals. A protected class would be individuals like; women, individuals over forty, races like African-American, gays because of their sexual preferences, religious preferences, national origin, etc. So if an individual receives harassment in any of those protected classes they can be considered harassed.
As an example if you had a Christian person in your office and other employee’s told Christian jokes without regard to their notice that they were being offended, this could be and most likely is a form of violating Harassment Laws. If your employee’s were not informed in some way that this was a violation your organization could be a risk of being sued! Doesn’t matter if you were aware of the actions of not! On the other hand if you had informed your employees by let’s say issuing an employee handbook, and required them to sign acknowledging that they were aware of your policies against this you may be relieved of any responsibility.
It gets a little cloudy at this point and there are ways that you may not be responsible.
However, let’s go one step further and say that although the employee’s knew about your policy but the supervisor knew the harassment was going on your organization may still be responsible. It gets a little cloudy at this point and there are ways that you may not be responsible. Just an example of you being possibly relieved of any responsibility may be if you had trained the supervisor of their responsibility to protect your employees from harassment!
As you can see the Workplace Harassment Laws are very important to become familiar with so that you’re can ensure your organization is completely protected. The best advice I can give you is to make sure you are making your employees of your policy against workplace harassment
! I would do this by creating a Employee Policy Manual (see may articles on an Employee Policy Manual on this website) that includes all the relevant policies. There are many more policies that are just as critical that you need to make sure you inform them of, so start now before it is too late.
Good Luck and May God Bless You!
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