Linked below is an insightful article from our Kirsten Hayne, commenting on the recent Hollywood sexual harassment scandal and the related #MeToo campaign. Don’t let your workplace be a bystander on this issue. If you do not have a Sexual Harassment and Workplace Violence Policy this is not only an opportune time to address the issue in your workplace surrounded by overwhelming societal support and commentary; it is actually required to comply with an employer’s occupational health and safety obligations.
If your company has a Sexual Harassment and Workplace Violence Policy, now is the time to review it and make sure it is up to date, appropriate, and effective. As Kirsten points out in her article, every employee in your workplace should clearly understand that sexual harassment is just as unacceptable as other perhaps more obvious safety breaches and deserves every Employer’s full attention within its Human Resource and Safety Management System.
Ensure you have a policy and it is up to date. Ensure that your policy and your surrounding actions and programs maintain and inspire a culture where sexual harassment is simply unacceptable, treated as serious misconduct, and where bystanders to such conduct are empowered to speak out. Your employees, your company culture and even your bottom line depend on a thorough and appropriate approach to the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. We have been pleased to assist numerous Employers for many years in developing clear, comprehensive Sexual Harassment and Workplace Violence Policies that include not just policy but also advice on how to implement and communicate the policy to your workplace; create a culture in support of the policy; and steps and approaches to monitor this important and potentially damaging issue within your workplace, both to your employees, and your company.
If your “Respectful Workplace” Policies only talk about victims making a complaint, I would encourage you to empower the Bystander too. If your safety culture only addresses floor mats and forklifts, I would encourage you to include the Weinsteins.