Are your workers prone to crude language and behavior? If so, start making spot inspections of work sites. Your goal: Stamping out harassment that could make your organization liable for a hostile environment.
Recent case: The EEOC sued a pipeline construction company on behalf of a group of black employees who claimed they had been forced to work in a racially hostile environment.
The EEOC showed that word had gotten back tothat employees commonly used racial slang and that some employees displayed nooses around the workplace. That was enough to warrant a jury trial. (EEOC v. L.A. Pipeline Construction, No. 2:08-CV-840, SD OH, 2010)
Final note: Remember, employers are responsible for co-worker harassment if they know or should have known that it was taking place. They don’t have to know the full extent to be liable.
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