Gone are the days that an employee who committed an act of sexual harassment would receive a slap on the wrist or perhaps not be reprimanded at all. Maintaining a harassment-free place of work is one of your missions as an employer, and this means that it's necessary to take a zero-tolerance mentality to incidents of sexual harassment. Should an employee commit an act of sexual harassment, it's often a good idea to terminate him or her promptly. Doing so might seem a bit harsh, but it will go a long way toward fostering a healthier work environment and reducing your risk of facing legal action. Here are some reasons that it's necessary to rid yourself of the offender promptly.
He/She Won't Be Able To Offend Again
In the case of a sexual harassment suit, the investigators will look to establish your negligence as an employer. A common way to prove that you were negligent and that this trait fostered acts of harassment in your workplace is to show that the offender was accused in the past. For example, if someone were to act inappropriately and you were to ignore it, this person may act again. Should the victim of the second incident take legal action, his or her case will be strengthened by the fact that other employees had reported the offender but that you'd done nothing. Terminating the employee in question will help you to avoid such a scenario.
It Establishes A Precedent
Most people in your workforce won't want to sexually harass others, but if they see that someone has engaged in such inappropriate behavior without getting any serious reprimanding, they may feel that sexual harassment isn't a big deal. If you don't quickly terminate the offender, you may actually see an increase in this type of behavior in your place of work, which can create a hostile environment for many people and perhaps even lead to multiple lawsuits against you.
It Improves Your Reputation
People in your industry will talk amongst themselves, and if you have a reputation for not dealing with workplace harassment harshly enough, this word will spread. This can not only harm your reputation, but may also make it difficult for you to hire employees, as well as retain them. When you show yourself to take a zero-tolerance attitude toward sexual harassment, you'll be building your reputation — which is always good for business.
This is a serious issue. Encourage employees who become victims to seek out a sexual harassment attorney. Make it a point to stand up and not tolerate this type of behavior in the workplace.