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Bryan E. Kuhn
Counselor at Law, P.C.
Business & Employment Law Attorney

Can you spot sexual harassment before it becomes an issue?

However hard you try to make your company a pleasant place to work, it only takes one employee to land you in hot water.

The law expects you as an employer to provide a safe working environment free from any kind of discrimination or harassment. Thus, when harassment happens, you could find yourself at the end of a lawsuit for failing to do so.

Showing you take action against harassment is crucial

Sexual harassment is still a significant problem in workplaces. Despite being the boss, you cannot know everything that goes on. Yet, telling a hearing you had no idea someone was sexually harassing another worker will gain little traction if others say it was obvious.

Here are some signs you may need to tell an employee to correct their behavior:

  • People laugh politely at their “jokes”: If someone makes an inappropriate “joke,” not everyone will have the confidence to call them out. It can be a particular problem when the teller is in a more powerful position than the listener. Even if you did not hear what was said, if you notice someone giving a slight false laugh or forcing a smile, it might signify it was inappropriate.
  • They compliment the person, not the achievement: Daisy, the 20-year-old receptionist, may appreciate your wife telling her she looks nice. If Roger, your Head of Accounts says the same, she may find it creepy. Managers should keep praise work-related.

There are several ways to tackle inappropriate behavior early. Showing you are not afraid to take action will be crucial to reassure your staff of your commitment to equality. It will help if accused of allowing sexual harassment to go on.

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