The prevention of workplace harassment is important for businesses of every size. Anti-harassment policies provide workers with piece of mind, and enable them to perform duties without fear or anxiety. When considering the value or training vs. the cost, consider that a comfortable workplace free of harassment promotes happy and productive employees which positively affects a company’s bottom-line.
In the cases of Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998), and Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998), the U.S. Supreme Court made several statements and recommendations. To protect employees and company liability, managers and employees must be trained in harassment prevention, report and investigate incidents, and take corrective steps if warranted.
Harassment is not limited to that of a sexual nature. Bullying and intimidation, disparaging remarks, actions, and gestures are only a few examples of what constitutes a hostile work environment. Harassment may also be based on an individual’s appearance, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, and other personal views.