Q. The sexual harassment accusations brought against presidential candidate Herman Cain have been generating quite a bit of controversy in our office. What can we do to ensure that our employees do not use these conversations as the basis upon which to bring a sexual harassment claim?
A. Although it is probably impossible to eliminate such discussions in the workplace, you can take steps to ensure that employees do not use these conversations as evidence of a sexually hostile work environment.
For instance, you could prepare a memorandum to all employees reminding them that some workers may be offended by the sexually explicit nature of such conversations. The memorandum should remind employees that they must refrain from discussing these matters in the presence of those individuals.
You should also attach a copy of the company’s sexual harassment policy to the memorandum.