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Helping employers to prevent hostile work environments

Knowing how to use information is a key to survival in any Texas business. Staying in tune with market trends and keeping ahead of the curves can mean the difference in success or failure in any type of enterprise. Self-scouting is also important for prosperity. Recognizing the potential for dysfunction in an employment setting and eliminating problems before they fester is important in human resources. In the current social environment, employers need to know if they are at risk for a sexual harassment claim that could divide team members and destroy productivity.

A workplace survey revealed that up to 72 percent of potential gender harassment claims go unreported. If the victims are not actively reporting problems, employers must be proactive to stay ahead of the curve on this issue. The first step is to study the workplace culture to learn if employees are supportive of each other and value work relationships. Anonymous surveys can help determine if off color jokes or flirting is common behavior.

The next step is a thorough examination of company policies and procedures. Every member of the team needs to be assured that eliminating and preventing harassment is essential to management's vision of a safe workplace. Victims need a secure way to report harassment from supervisors or within the human resource department. Having multiple avenues of reporting is a key component of sound policy. Tailoring training to the company culture and structure is equally important.

Consulting a qualified employment law attorney to review policies and help craft a tailored plan to prevent and remedy inappropriate workplace behaviors is prudent for employers of all sizes. Establishing a relationship with counsel and putting a crisis plan in place before it is needed is beneficial if an employee does cross the line and create a hostile work environment for other members of the team.

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Sturm Law PLLC
712 Main Street Suite 900
Houston, TX 77002

Phone: 713-955-1800
Fax: 713-955-1078
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