According to some experts speaking at the recent SHRM Annual Conference & Expo, jurors and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alike expect employers to go the extra mile to protect employees from workplace harassment.
For example, research suggests that most jurors or prospective jurors think that just because an employee didn’t report harassment doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. They further think that workers often don’t report harassment because they are afraid to do so. About half of jurors surveyed indicated that if an employee complains about harassment on social media, this serves as adequate notice for the employer.
They also reported that employers need to be proactive and have strong and clearly communicated anti-harassment policies and training.
Elsewhere, EEOC suggests several key elements employers need to have in place if they want to prevent harassment in the workplace:
- Commitment from senior leadership.
- Consistent and fair approach to preventing and addressing harassment.
- Clear policies regarding expectations about behavior.
- A complaint process that makes it easy and safe to for someone to report an instance of harassment.
- Customized, interactive anti-harassment training that does more than pay lip service to the issue.