The most effective weapon against sexual harassment is prevention.
The burden of preventing sexual harassment lies with the employer. Employers are responsible for providing employees with a work environment that does not discriminate and is truly free of harassment. By law, each employer is required to put in place measures to prevent and deal with harassment in the workplace. If an employer has not taken the reasonable steps to deal with and prevent harassment in the workplace, then the employer may be liable for any harassment which may occur, even if they are not aware of it.
We recommend that all family offices have a statement of intent, which should reflect a true commitment of all concerned parties to recognize the significance of the battle against sexual harassment in the workplace. This statement should be in writing and become part of the company policy manual.
Here are some key measures that can be taken to create a harassment-free workplace:
1) Prepare and document an anti-harassment policy
2) Communicate the policy to all employees and have them sign off on it
3) Implement a training program for all employees so that the managers understand their responsibility
4) Provide a mechanism so that employees who feel that they are being harassed know where to go for support
5) Take action to eliminate any discriminatory photos, posters, jokes, emails, etc at the workplace
6) Monitor the policy to make sure that it is effective
For additional information on how to implement and effective preventive sexual harassment program, please feel free to contact: Michael F. Rosenblatt, President of FON Search and The Quest Organization at 212-971-0033 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org