TRAINING YOUR WORKFORCE ON DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT TO AVOID CLAIMS AND LIABILITY

          Creating an Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy, and regularly training your employees regarding the company’s policies and procedures, may be the single most important step you can take to protect your company against claims of unlawful employment practices. 

            In order to be effective, the policy promulgated should (1) define and give examples of unlawful discrimination/harassment, (2) specify the methods used to prevent such discrimination and harassment, and (3) set forth the company’s procedures to report, investigate and rectify such behavior.  The policy must also be disseminated to all employees, and every employee should acknowledge receipt of the policy. 

            The company should also develop training materials, to be used with both existing employees and new hires.  Training should be given to all existing employees and new hires, regardless of their position.  However, supervisors/members of management should be given training specific to their unique responsibilities.  After all, they are the company’s first line of defense against such behavior.  Confirmation of the employee’s attendance at such training should be placed in each employee’s permanent file.

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