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How can my business fight sexual harassment allegations?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Firm News

Sexual harassment allegations can seriously impact any business, regardless of the veracity of those allegations. This is why it is essential to understand how to address these allegations effectively and implement preventative measures.

Understanding sexual harassment

Under state and federal laws, sexual harassment at work can include any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and any other verbal or physical harassment that is sexual in nature. Offensive remarks about someone’s sex or gender can also constitute harassment.

Are there preventative measures?

Prevention is the most effective way to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace.

First, as a business, you need to acknowledge the potential for sexual harassment in your business. Recognize that sexual harassment can occur in any workplace. Second, educate yourself and your employees. They need to understand what constitutes sexual harassment. Communicate this clearly to your staff.

Next, you need to establish a clear harassment policy. Develop a written, accessible sexual harassment policy that outlines acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Conduct regular training sessions to educate employees about sexual harassment and cover all necessary topics.

Finally, enforce the policy. Take every complaint seriously and investigate it promptly.

How should businesses respond to allegations?

If an allegation arises, responding promptly and appropriately is crucial. Investigate allegations immediately. As soon as a complaint is made, initiate a thorough investigation. Document everything. Keep detailed records of the investigation process and any corrective actions taken. And, take appropriate action.  If the allegation is substantiated, take immediate corrective action to address the situation

Providing a safe and respectful work environment is a fundamental responsibility for every Alaskan business. By implementing these steps, businesses can better protect their employees from sexual harassment — and themselves from disruptive litigation.

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