It seems that every time we turn on the news, open a newspaper, or surf social media, someone else is making headlines for sexual misconduct allegations. Everyone from politicians, to Hollywood elites, to leading business people have made their way into the type of spotlight no one really seeks. But, it happens, and it happens more often than most of us might believe.
Sexual misconduct in the workplace has always happened, unfortunately. But right now the tide has turned, and as a society we are paying more attention to the issue.
As an employer, you might face some difficult decisions with regard to this problem. What would you do, if one employee alleges sexual misconduct against another? Firing or suspending the accused employee is an option, but they can also sue for wrongful termination. What if you interview someone, choose to hire another candidate for the position, and then later find yourself embroiled in a discrimination lawsuit?
There are many different scenarios that could take place, and do happen every day. Unfortunately these situations place you, and your business, at risk.
To lower your vulnerability to these situations, you do have a few options. First, conduct background checks on all potential employees. Weed out unsuitable candidates so that they never reach the interview stage. Create detailed job descriptions so that confusion never arises over duties. Then, conduct periodic reviews (with every detail documented) so that you can access accurate records of each employee’s work performance.
A detailed employee handbook, stating rules and a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and abuse, will go a long way. Remember, too, to foster an environment in which workers feel comfortable bringing problems to your attention.
Finally, investigate your options for employment practices liability insurance. This type of insurance coverage can cover the cost of litigation in the event that a lawsuit does happen, and can help cover any settlements that are ordered. Most importantly, your coverage will protect your business and your personal assets from the actions of others.
Give us a call, and we will help you sort through your employment practices liability insurance options.