Workplace bullying/hazing has made headlines in recent months, and employers increasingly are seeking to address this concern. Strong policies, procedures, training, and awareness are key to keep employees safe and help companies manage and mitigate risks.
Some facts you should know:
- There is a fine line between hazing, bullying, and sexual harassment. It’s helpful to have definitions of each that put everyone in your organization on the same page with the same understanding.
- Nationally, there has been an increase in reported incidents of the behaviors that often accompany hazing. It is unclear whether there are actually more incidents or greater awareness is resulting in more reporting.
- Organizations at greatest risk are ones with satellite or multiple offices or departments that are not monitored. Managers in these offices often have more autonomy and may escape scrutiny.
- Workplace bullying is covered under a general liability policy, but a separate policy may be appropriate or needed for issues of sexual assault.