Some employers would say that environment does not matter at work, as people should simply do their jobs and then go home at the end of the day, regardless of whether or not they are dealing with a hostile work environment. However, the reality is that a hostile work environment can truly interfere with productivity, as it can make it very hard for people to actually be able to focus on their work. Because you do not want your employees to feel uncomfortable at work, it is important to make sure that you are doing everything you can to prevent this from happening, including contacting a lawyer if necessary. The following is a list of four things that you can do to avoid a hostile work environment:
- Create an official policy, and make sure that your employees read it and understand it. Make it very clear to them that you are strict about the policy and truly care about maintaining a healthy environment at work.
- Organize training sessions on the topic. You are already responsible for different sorts of training sessions under federal law, so you should just make sure to include a session on a hostile work environment and how to prevent it. You should make sure that they understand how important it is and that they are not just doing it because it is a requirement.
- Make sure your employees know how to file a complaint about a hostile work environment. Even if they are suffering as a result of the hostile environment, some of them may be reticent to do anything about it if they do not know how. Also, encourage them to feel free to file complaints when they feel that they are dealing with hostility, so that they do not feel ashamed in the situation.
- Conduct impartial investigations when incidents occur: interview ALL witnesses, not just supervisors and managers involved in those incidents. Anyone can bring a lawsuit against an employer whether it has merit or not, but a thorough investigation is any company’s best defense against such a lawsuit.
If you feel that you need more guidance on how to prevent a hostile work environment, you should feel free to contact our attorneys at any time. We work to provide answers to your questions and can potentially provide more guidance on your situation.