What Employers Should Know About Sexual Harassment at the Workplace

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a harsh reality in the corporate world. No sphere is immune to the vice, from schools to government organizations. The consequences of sexual harassment are dire, having caused top names to lose their positions while others suffer irrecoverable disgrace. Many organizations do have sexual harassment strategies in place. Since the explosion of the #MeToo movement, however, there is increased pressure on managers to uphold these policies. 

When a sexual assault complaint arises at work, employers have to verify whether the claim is valid or not. The procedure involves determining whether the sexual contact was consensual, evaluating the evidence of harassment, and ascertaining whether the work environment is hostile. The manager also needs to recommend preventative action to restore a non-sexist work environment. All this can be a daunting task, hence the need to hire an experienced investigator. If you are an employer or manager in New York and its environs, you can approach the sexual harassment investigation NYC  to help you solve the puzzle. 

Employees and supervisors are liable for acts of sexual harassment

According to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Regulation 1604 11, as an employer, you are liable for the acts of sexual harassment that your employees suffer. These include requests for sexual favors, physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature, and unwelcome sexual advances. You will be liable whether or not you knew of the sexual misconduct unless you can prove that you took corrective action. 

The costs of sexual misconduct can be high for companies, running up to hundreds of millions. Your company also runs the risk of negative publicity which is bad for business. There is also lowered employee productivity due to illnesses, absenteeism, and employee turnover.

Sexual violence mostly affects women, and the loss of these women can cause significant financial losses to a company. Studies have proven that a lack of gender diversity hurts the performance of organizations. Companies have a more diverse set of employees are more competitive. 

Tax deductions and sexual harassment

It is wise to have no non-disclosure agreements when it comes to settlement of sexual harassment cases. If you require a victim to sign a non-disclosure agreement, the amount of payment to the victim, including the lawyer’s fees, will not be tax-deductible. 

False accusations

As much as there is an increase in sexual harassment at the workplace, you should also beware of false and malicious accusations. A false charge can happen when an employee misinterprets the actions of another employee, while malicious allegations are deliberately meant to harm to the accused. Company policy should explicitly state that a sexual harassment accusation is not fact until it has been investigated and proven. 

No company is immune to sexual harassment. As an employer, you need to have company policies in place and ensure employees adhere to them. Ignoring inappropriate behavior can ruin the morale of your employees, lead to high turnover, litigation costs, and ultimately business closure. 

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