Fulfilling your obligations to clients or customers is only one aspect of running a successful business. You also have to hire and retain skilled workers who help you grow your business. Unfortunately, where there are people dealing with one another, the potential exists for significant conflicts.
You may hope to avoid interpersonal issues within the company through careful hiring practices. Still, no matter how cautious you may be, you could wind up dealing with allegations of sexual harassment or other significant claims.
If your company has more than 15 employees who have worked for at least the last 20 weeks, it is essential that you have a complaint or reporting policy in your employee handbook or contracts.
A reporting policy protects you from liability
As a company, you become responsible for the things that your employees and managers do to one another, customers, clients and members of the public. You have an obligation to provide your staff with a safe workplace free of harassment and discrimination. Unfortunately, even if you have policies that prohibit abusive behavior, you can’t necessarily control what people do at work.
Having a written policy that outlines a method in which staff can report complaints of harassment or abuse to management or human resources protects your company. There should also be alternative options for those abused by members of management or human resources to ensure everyone feels comfortable reporting.
Anyone experiencing abuse or harassment must then comply with those reporting requirements, which gives your company an opportunity to investigate and take action. It will be much harder for people to bring discrimination or harassment claims against your business if they don’t comply with that reporting process.
The flip side of the issue is that your company must thoroughly look into complaints and take necessary action, even if it means reprimanding or firing someone. Keeping records of your attempts to investigate and resolve allegations of misconduct, harassment or discrimination will help protect your business from liability based on the actions of just one worker.