If you downloaded your company handbook from the Internet or took it with you from your last job—beware! Take a look at your anti-harassment policy’s reporting procedures. Do they make sense within your organization? Do they clearly tell whom employees should go to if they need to make a complaint? Or is it just a list of job titles that may confuse employees?
A new court ruling shows why you should take your policy out, dust it off and look it over closely … at least before a jury does.
The court held that, as an employer, you often can avoid liability in harassment lawsuits by showing you maintain “a reasonable mechanism by which the victim of the harassment can complain to the company and get relief.” If you then can prove that the victim failed to use that procedure, you win.
But if your complaint-filing procedures are complex and confusing, a court may green-light the lawsuit anyway, even if the victim igno...(register to read more)
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