Checklist for a Harassment Free

Employers are liable for harassment by a employees that results in a negative employment action such as termination, failure to promote or hire, and loss of wages. To minimize the risk of an employee committing harassment, it is important for employers to make sure that employees know what is (and isn't) acceptable behavior. Employers should ensure their workplaces are places where fairness and responsible behavior are encouraged.

Harassment and bullying in the workplace lower employee morale, absenteeism, reduced productivity, turnover, loss of corporate reputation, damages, and legal liability. Employers should not tolerate will not tolerate behavior that could be viewed as harassment or bullying of other workers/customers/clients.

Employers can avoid liability only if they can prove that: 1) they reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior; and 2) the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer.

Employers can work towards creating workplaces free from harassment by implementing the following steps:

Create a Policy against Harassment / Bullying

The policy should:

Train Employees on the Policy

Conduct interactive harassment and bullying prevention training with all employees. Offer the training at least once a year.

Promote a Work Environment Free from Harassment and Bullying

Do not tolerate harassment or bullying in the workplace. Train employees.

Report Allegations to HR or the Appropriate Authority

Employees and supervisors should report any harassment or bullying they observe. Supervisors are responsible for any harassment they should have known about. Employees and supervisors may be subject to discipline for failing to report harassment and bullying.

Take Immediate Action to Investigate the Allegations

Conduct a confidential investigation. Gather relevant documentation, emails, texts, or other work products. Interview the accuser, accused, and witnesses.

Do not Retaliate Against the Acuser

Employees may be subject to discipline for retaliating against others.

Seek Resolution and Document Actions Taken

Take Corrective Action as Needed