Josephson Litigation Counsel

Strict sexual harassment policy may prevent employment disputes

Successful businesses in British Columbia are typically those in which employee-management relations are built on trust and mutual respect. Employment disputes may arise when these two aspects are not present. Such clashes frequently follow accusations of sexual harassment, which could be detrimental to any business.

Sexual harassment allegations frequently involve supervisors or anybody who has some level of power over his or her victims. Business owners may be able to prevent such behaviour by taking a few simple steps. The most logical first step might be to establish a written sexual harassment policy that includes the procedures to report such harassment or to file a complaint. This policy could be posted in a prominent position in the workplace for all to see.

Sexual harassment may be more preventable when employees are aware that such conduct is offensive and will not be tolerated. The complaints procedures must also allow for reporting such behaviour without fear of retaliation or reprisals. Any business owner -- especially those with a large number of employees -- stand the chance of being held responsible for sexual harassment that took place without his or her knowledge. For that reason, the terms of the policy must be strictly enforced.

British Columbia business owners may find it beneficial to have the support and guidance of an experienced employment lawyer who can assist with drafting a policy to prevent harassment in the workplace. However, if an employer finds him or herself facing an employment dispute, the lawyer can examine the allegations and provide skilled advice to protect the business and its owner. By doing that, the lawyer can assist with addressing the issue promptly to conclude the matter in or out of court.

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