How to Effectively Handle Reports of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

While the #MeToo movement has brought more visibility towards the issue of sexual harassment, a recent study found that a startling 81 percent of women have felt some sort of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Some food for thought is that this is just the people who were interviewed for the study. Think about how much higher that number can actually be since many people fail to report harassment in the workplace due to fear of retaliation or reprimand. And since men can get targeted too, these kinds of numbers are unsettling, especially in modern American society.

When employers don’t care about their workers, it shows. Employees will be reluctant to go to their employers to handle harassment and other employment practices issues and are instead more likely to demonstrate a lower quality of work or quit altogether. If a business does not prioritize its employees and learn to properly address internal problems, it will be the one suffering.

 With comprehensive employee practices liability insurance and a sound way to effectively handle reports of sexual harassment in the workplace, a staffing agency will have a much stronger line of defense against EPLI and harassment claims. It will reduce the number of claims that occurs and make the reporting and handling process for the ones that do occur that much easier.

Don’t think that it can never happen at your place of business. If your staffing agency needs to brush up on their sexual harassment policy and how to report others, here are some tips below from Chron.

Have a Strong Anti-Harassment Policy

When there’s a strong anti-harassment policy in place, workers will feel way more comfortable at their job. In fact, it’s bound to ease tensions amongst others in the workplace. Make it known that any form of harassment (and discrimination) is not tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly. The process to report others should be clear for both new and old employees to understand. Workers need to know what is and is not allowed so a threshold can be placed over conversations that may be considered inappropriate.

Communicate the policy clearly. No employee should be able to use the excuse, “But I didn’t know!” Post the policy in a public, highly-trafficked area of the workplace (such as the break room), send it electronically to all employees, and provide them with paper copies to sign and return. Some businesses may wish to have meetings to discuss the policy with their employees. Make it clear what constitutes harassment, why it will not be tolerated, how to report harassment, and which disciplinary actions will be taken.

Motivate Employees

The ways your workers will talk to each other and their superiors mean more than you might think. And being able to foster positive workplace vibes that leave a layer of respect amongst your team is crucial. Train employees to be wary about inappropriate jokes, posting inappropriate material, and using terms of endearment as well as profanity. Trying to push for a balanced, professional environment that makes everyone feel comfortable.

Prioritize Training, Documentation, and Vigilance

The next steps to ensure that every worker is on the same page involving sexual harassment includes periodic employee training, heavy documentation and keen observance. Managers and other leaders should receive extra anti-harassment training. Not everyone is going to come forward when harassed, so sometimes it takes another hand to help. Having adequate documentation and a high sense of observance is also critical for driving workplace success.  One the documentation has started, it’s time for a thorough investigation. Acting quickly helps: with harassment, the time is only ticking until we put a stop to it.


About World Wide Specialty Programs

For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage, we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.