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How can you prevent workplace hostility?

You and numerous other Texas employers have a lot on your plates. In addition to ensuring that the company runs smoothly, you also need to ensure that your workers are productive, treated fairly and follow the rules. Any issue with employees could reflect badly on the company and could cause serious issues that you need to properly address.

In particular, it is important that workers do not feel as if someone has mistreated them on the job. In some cases, acts of discrimination or harassment could take place, and if the matter goes unaddressed, a hostile work environment could result. Because this type of issue could cause a number of problems, you undoubtedly want to make sure that preventive measures are in place.

Understanding the law

First of all, harassment and discrimination are illegal under various federal laws. As an employer, you have an obligation to adhere to the law, as do your employees. While some exceptions to certain laws exist, such as if you run a company with very few employees, you need to determine whether you meet the qualifications for that exemption before relying on it.

Preventing a hostile work environment

In general, a three-pronged approach is the best way to work toward preventing harassment and other actions that could lead to workplace hostility. Those three prongs include the following:

  • Create and implement anti-harassment policies in the workplace. These policies can explain that the company does not condone inappropriate conduct and behavior that could fall into the category of harassment.
  • Provide training to employees at all levels to help them recognize harassment, and learn how to prevent it and how to refrain from questionable actions.
  • Process complaints and correct behaviors as necessary. It is important that employees understand the correct way to file a complaint regarding harassment to the appropriate party or department, and that you as the employer take proper action to correct the issue, which could include investigations and disciplinary action.

Utilizing this three-pronged approach could give you a greater chance at defending against any claims of a hostile work environment that may come against the company. Even if you do your part to address any complaints, some workers may feel as if the outcome was unsatisfactory. By showing the efforts you and your company went to in efforts to prevent harassment and handle complaints well, you may have a stronger defense.

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Sturm Law PLLC
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Houston, TX 77002

Phone: 713-955-1800
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