Creating tools to defuse harassment and discrimination in the workplace can be challenging if the employer doesn’t know the legalities behind both. This is where a good HR manager can step in. They can provide training and resources that the company may not have had otherwise.
So, what are some ways to help prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace? First, the employer should ensure a harassment and discrimination policy should be included in the employee handbook for everyone to reference. The employee handbook should include specific procedures for employees to follow to report harassment to management and consequences that will occur for being a harasser. All employees should be required to sign a form acknowledging that they received the information and understand the information. I would also recommend having a separate tri-fold flyer about harassment and discrimination for employees to review (I have found that most employees are more likely to read a pamphlet than an employee handbook). The tri-fold should include examples of different types of harassment and discrimination and ways to avoid both.
An employer should also provide specific harassment and discrimination training to all employees. Upper management training should be separate and also include a portion on how to recognize potential harassment and discrimination in the workplace. This will help the employer reduce liability by reducing instances of harassment and discrimination. Upper management should also be held accountable for employee actions to an extent, but especially when ongoing harassment or discrimination is taking place.
Does your employer have a specific harassment and discrimination section of your employee handbook?