June 6, 2018 - Barack Ferrazzano Client Alert
Sexual Harassment – #MeToo – What To Do Now
- Act Now. The consequences of workplace misconduct can be devastating, but realize there are ways to mitigate your risks. Review our recommended key steps below when dealing with workplace misconduct.
- Seek Legal Counsel. When revising policies, legal counsel can help with best practices as they are evolving. When a complaint is received, legal counsel should be consulted prior to the commencement of an investigation. Every organization has a unique culture that needs to be taken into account when addressing these action items.
Start At The Top
- The Board should set the tone and communicate a proactive approach.
- Board governance and oversight requires regular reporting to the Board on the organization’s efforts to address workplace misconduct;
- Senior management must clearly communicate their expectations for appropriate behavior, reflect that behavior themselves and report misconduct when it happens;
- All management should be held accountable for their front line experiences with people who are not meeting the Board’s expectations for workplace conduct; and
- Human Resources should have direct access to the Board and sufficient resources to conduct training and, when needed, investigations.
- Conduct training at least annually and preferably in-person.
Revisit Existing Policies
- Revisit existing Non-Harassment Policies for improvements such as on reporting and assurances of non-retaliation.
- Seek legal counsel on evolving best practices.
- Have an action plan in place for when a report of misconduct is made. Have a public relations and social media plan.
- When a complaint is received, legal counsel should be consulted prior to the commencement of an investigation.
Don't Put Your Head In The Sand
- Having previously received no reports does not necessarily mean there have been no incidents of workplace misconduct.
Take All Complaints Seriously
- Don’t wait until there is a “serious” complaint to figure out what needs to be done.
We Can Help You
Please call us if you would like to discuss any of these issues or if we can otherwise be of assistance.