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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

by Joanne Cadenas

How can employers protect employees, themselves, and their company from having a harassment claim filed against them? The best way is to establish a sexual harassment prevention-training program. Providing helpful information to employees, especially to supervisors and managers, is invaluable to any company, regardless of its size. The right training will focus on preventing and dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace as a manager.

How can we learn more about California law and sexual harassment in the workplace? The entity that provides the guidelines as to what is considered unlawful workplace behavior is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Their website provides detailed and helpful information about different types of discrimination and conduct that are prohibited at work. PIASC also offers on-site harassment prevention training to companies to help educate business owners and employees about these sensitive issues.

Cheryl Chong, PIASC's Director of Human Resources, provides training that addresses sexual harassment in the workplace. Using video demonstrations and clear examples, she educates employers and employees on appropriate workplace behavior.

sexual harassmentIt is also important to keep the lines of communication open for any questions or concerns about harassment. The goal is to provide a zero tolerance, harassment-free environment for your employees. A company that maintains a written employee policy in effect is going to lower the risk of having any type of harassment claim.

Just as you work hard to provide a safe, hazard-free environment for your employees, look into ways to keep them safe from actions that could be seen as harassment and keep from yourself safe from possible litigation.

Employers should also have Employment Practices Liability insurance, known in the trade as EPL insurance or EPLI. This insurance provides coverage to employers in the case that allegations of sexual misconduct come up in the workplace. These claims include discrimination based on sex, race, age, disability, etc., wrongful termination, harassment and other employment-related issues, such as failure to promote.

The best way to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace is by providing proper training to employees, obtaining EPL insurance, and maintaining a written employee policy. In this way, you can lower your risk of potential harassment claims for your company.

Make it a priority to protect your employees, yourself, and your business and call PIASC Insurance Services to get a quote on EPLI today. The benefits greatly outweigh the cost.

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