Sexual harassment in the workplace is any offensive sexual behavior which offends, humiliates, or even intimidates a person either physically, verbally, or in written form. The sexual harassment becomes a liability to the organizations when they are held lawfully responsible for the act of sexual irritation by their workforce or even their agents should they occur at the workplace. The sexual harassment laws are still under evolution and therefore are intricate for the employers to apprehend. Moreover, the latest cases and procedures do not offer clear contrasts between the tolerable behavior and the legal conduct, which may lead the company to legal responsibility.
The key to defending any organization against such accountability is by first and foremost, carrying out a thorough investigation and taking the appropriate action that is plausibly planned to end the problem. When the court decides on the case, first, it will analyze the company’s investigation and the effectiveness of the taken corrective measures. The court’s fortitude of the efficiency of the employer’s response is by the success of the remedial action in eliminating the vice. For that case, the company should carry out a prompt investigation of all the complaints raised regarding the sexual harassment. The company should involve an inquiry officer outside the concerned department, and let the commencement of the inquiry be within the very week of the complaint’s collection (Sherman, Morin & Oshinsky, 2016).
The investigating officer should then carefully file on how and when the claim of sexual harassment got to the awareness of the organization. Then the next procedure would be the collection of all the available data so as to establish all the pertinent facts regarding the conduct. The company with the help of the inquiry officer should regard all the claims as legitimate until that time upon their approval as otherwise, and should also keep all the proceedings and the details confidential away from the irrelevant or the neutral parties. The company should also incorporate the legal counsel at such a crucial stage of the information-gathering, so as get protection from the claims of criticism or even denigration.
Upon the completion of the exploration, the company intervenes and applies the proper procedures to remedy the situation. In case the claim is substantial enough, then the appropriate course of action is deployed. When it was the culprit’s first time, then a warning should be given followed by even transfer to another department if possible. But if it is the second or subsequent times, then the termination of the perpetrator’s employment is the solution.
Another method that the employer can adopt to defend the organization against the liability of the workplace sexual harassment is the introduction of a precise harassment policy handbook that clearly defines what exactly it means to be a nuisance to somebody sexually. The policy should state vividly to all the employees the company’s intolerance to the vice in what so ever circumstance and that anybody found guilty shall face the disciplinary actions or even lose their jobs. The policy should also state clearly the procedures for filing the complaints that regard the misconduct (Barreiro, 2016).
The company should also train all the employees, including the senior management on the topic of sexual annoyance to avoid being liable of their misbehavior. The conduction of the training sessions should be at least once a year and should inform the employees about their rights to a job place free of sexual harassment. The managers should get the teachings on how they can handle such like complaints.