A year ago, I wrote about a report from an EEOC Task Force on risk factors for workplace harassment. Well the Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace continues studying away and has issued some new materials. They consist of:
- A chart on risk factors for workplace harassment – As we noted in our prior post, a diverse workplace where everyone conforms to the same norms, people behave appropriately at all times, you don’t hire those pesky young people, you eliminate hierarchies, you discourage drinking, everyone works at one location, and you make all the work interesting would be pretty close to ideal. It would be even better if you can run your business without your employees ever interacting with anyone.
- A checklist for leadership to use in assessing the workplace culture – You get bonus points if the organization “has partnered with researchers to evaluate the organization’s holistic workplace harassment prevention effort.”
- A checklist for what to include in an anti-harassment policy.
- A checklist for what to include in harassment reporting systems and investigations.
- A checklist for what to include in compliance training.
Takeaway No. 1: It’s a point I’ve been making for years and will keep making. If your company gets sued for harassment, the case will be less about what the harasser did than about what the company did to prevent and respond to the situation. As the law gets more exacting on what it expects from employers, it’s critical to have qualified legal counsel guide you through this process.
Takeaway No. 2: There is such a thing as researchers who evaluate organizations’ holistic workplace harassment prevention efforts!