The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines harassment in the workplace as “unwelcome conduct…that creates a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.” What they mean by “reasonable people” is those who don’t blow petty offenses out of proportion but also those who don’t let severe incidents slide off their backs. The best way to fight workplace harassment is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some guidelines for cutting down on racial and otherwise hurtful offenses:
- Set ground rules.
All employees in a shared work environment must be made aware of the policies against harassment. From the newest employee to the oldest, companies should educate each worker on compliant and grievance processes as well as anti-harassment training, emphasizing that unwelcome conduct will not be tolerated and, should it occur, disciplinary steps will be taken. Outline each policy definitively and thoroughly so employees are clear.
- Provide an open environment.
As much as possible, employers should create an atmosphere of trust and transparency in which employees would feel comfortable to come forward about a matter of concern. If employees choose to cover up an ongoing situation, employers cannot necessarily be held accountable, so mutual communication in the work environment is encouraged.
- Take immediate action.
If an incident occurs, the person who was harassed should address the offender directly, urging him or her to stop. Then, the victim should report to management, at which point the supervisors should respond accordingly. If too much time passes after harassment takes place, that sends the message to all employees that management doesn’t take such matters seriously and could result in a pervasively uneasy atmosphere.
If you run into situations of harassment at your work but don’t have ways to prove it, feel free to call Forletta Investigative/Security Consultant. With our commitment to cut down on workplace harassment and our reputation of professional integrity, we produce real results. Call today for your free consultation, and visit our website. For more information on services we provide, click here.