In New York and across the nation, workplace issues have become part of the daily news cycle. Employers should be cognizant of their vulnerability to legal filings, a diminished reputation and the litany of problems that might accompany allegations of sexual harassment. This is a problematic part of its corporate culture. To mitigate these possible problems, it is imperative to educate employees as to how they are expected to behave. In general, this would be part of an employee handbook. Regardless of how employees are made aware of the state minimum standards for sexual harassment, it is a fundamental part of effective oversight and should not be ignored.
Employees should know the minimum requirements for sexual harassment training
All New York State employers must impart upon their employees the importance of adhering to the sexual harassment prevention policies. The employees must be aware that the employer will conduct a thorough investigation of all allegations of sexual harassment and penalties can be assessed if it is found to have occurred. Often, that will include termination. People in positions of power such as supervisors or managers must report complaints to their superiors. This applies to everyone who is employed in the workplace.
Sexual harassment can involve touching, inappropriate comments, showing offensive material and much more. It can also involve quid pro quo of trying to exchange sexual favors for advancement. Anyone can be targeted for sexual harassment. It is not limited by gender, sexual orientation, job title or even being employed at the workplace. It can happen at any work-related task or event. Even instances of off-duty communication can fall into the category of harassment.
Addressing sexual harassment may require professional advice
It is helpful to have the guidance of experienced employment law professionals who are skillful at helping businesses comply with the state and local guidelines; know how to defend cases in court; and will work tirelessly to protect a business’s product and services as well as its reputation. Alleged violations are a challenge, especially if it involves sexual harassment. Avoiding it through proper education is the preferable strategy, but when there are accusations, a comprehensive defense is key. From every perspective, having comprehensive advice is crucial from the start.