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What should I know about sexual harassment?

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As an employer in California, you should have a good understanding of sexual harassment and the havoc it can wreak within the workplace. With the right information you can ensure that your workers enjoy a pleasant working environment while also sidestepping any potential legal issues that can accompany instances of harassment.

According to U.S. News & World Report, it’s important that your company’s human resource department remains objective during their investigation of any sexual harassment claims. This entails going through the record of the accuser, as well as conducting an interview with the person cited in the claim. Bystanders to the incident may also be questioned in order to gain a perspective of what occurred.

You should also be aware that the employee claiming harassment is not required to report the incident to his or her direct supervisor. Reporting procedures should be laid out in detail within your company’s employee handbook, which usually emphasizes that employees report harassment to an individual in a position of authority who is best suited to offering an impartial point of view. Any staff tasked with management should also be well-trained on how to handle claims, including methods for preventing them from occurring in the first place.

Additionally, you should also know about any discrepancies between your company’s policy and the law. For instance, some employers go a step beyond the legal definition of harassment to include things like inappropriate joking or unwanted advances, which aren’t necessarily included in most states’ laws. Despite whether the stipulations laid out by your company have legal backing, they can still result in disciplinary action if a violation occurs. 

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