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Published byEdwina Knight
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Workplace Harassment What Supervisors Need to Know
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Session Objectives You will be able to: Understand the requirements of the law and company policy Identify incidents of workplace harassment Handle complaints and participate in investigations effectively Take appropriate corrective action against incidents of harassment in your department
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 What You Need to Know What harassment is and why it is a problem Company policy against harassment Procedures for dealing with harassment How to investigate incidents and determine whether harassment has occurred Proper action to stop harassment and correct its effects
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Why You Should Be Concerned Workplace harassment is a serious problem Complaints are rising Harassment takes many forms
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 What Is Harassment? Harassment is unwelcome behavior directed at a member of a protected group Harassment usually involves a pattern of behavior Harassment is a form of illegal discrimination
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 What Is Harassment? (cont.) Harassment is often blatant Harassment can also be subtle Behavior short of illegal discrimination
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 What Harassment Is Not Occasional teasing Offhand comments Isolated incidents that are not extremely serious
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 When Is It Harassment? One extremely serious incident Intimidating, hostile, offensive environment
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 When Is It Harassment? (cont.) Unreasonable interference with work performance Negative effect on an individual’s employment opportunities Harassment of those who do not conform
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Employer Liability Preventing liability Conduct of supervisors and managers
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Employer Liability (cont.) Conduct of co-workers Conduct of nonemployees
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Harassment Policy Familiarize yourself with the policy Explain the policy to employees
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Harassment Policy (cont.) Enforce the policy strictly Review the policy periodically and following any incidents
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Harassment in the Workplace Do you understand the information in the previous slides?
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Verbal Harassment Threats Intimidation Offensive language, slurs, or derogatory comments Graffiti Jokes Circulating insulting stories or rumors about a person
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Nonverbal Harassment Staring Standing over someone in an intimidating manner Displaying or circulating offensive pictures, cartoons, or objects Singling out members of protected groups for unfavorable treatment
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Handling Employee Complaints Encourage reporting Never ignore a complaint Report complaints to your boss and/or designated person Understand that employees are allowed to bypass the normal chain of command
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Handling Employee Complaints (cont.) Strike a balance between the need for confidentiality and the need to investigate Protect everyone’s rights
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Dealing with Minor Incidents Determine the exact nature of the incident Counsel the alleged harasser informally Reassure the victim Monitor the situation carefully
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Participating in An Investigation Is an investigation necessary? How long will it take? What intermediate measures may be necessary? How should the investigation be conducted?
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Questions During The Investigation Questions to ask the person making the complaint
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Questions During The Investigation (cont.) Questions to ask the alleged harasser Questions to ask witnesses
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Assessing Credibility Plausibility Demeanor Motive to falsify Corroboration Past record
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Has Harassment Occurred? Making a determination When no determination is possible Filing a report Informing the parties
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Taking Corrective Action Consult your manager before taking action Implement effective remedial measures Balance competing concerns
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Taking Corrective Action (cont.) Make certain the victim is not adversely affected Stop the harassment and ensure that it does not recur
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Taking Corrective Action (cont.) Correct the effects of the harassment Follow up to make sure the problem is solved
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Your Role in Dealing with Harassment Do you understand the information presented in the previous slides?
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Diversity— Challenge and Opportunity Recognize that the problem is likely to grow Understand that harassment interferes with good work relationships Encourage employees to recognize the benefits of diversity Promote a fair and diverse workplace
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 1003 Key Points to Remember Illegal harassment is unwelcome behavior directed at a person because of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, or sex No rude, insensitive, or abusive behavior should ever be tolerated You play a critical role in identifying harassment, investigating incidents, taking corrective action, and enforcing company policy
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