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  Sexual Harassment Training and Prevention


 

Sexual Harassment Training and Prevention

 

Continued from page four

An official sexual harassment complaint procedure is a must

If an employee complains to a manager about having been sexually harassed and that manager doesn’t follow through on that complaint, you could be liable.

By designating specific managers with whom employees can report sexual harassment to, and by training these specific managers in the proper steps to follow when they do receive a complaint, you can reduce the chances of a sexual harassment complaint not being followed through on.

Make your sexual harassment policy a part of the employee handbook/information policy so that everyone understands the procedures and to whom they should complain.

Then if you do find yourself facing a lawsuit without having had a chance to address and stop the sexual harassment then you can at least show that the employee knew that you had/have procedures in place to tackle these types of issues, but that the employee did not follow the procedures and notify you of the problem.

Be sure to provide on-going sexual harassment prevention and training to the managers who are responsible for taking and following through on complaints, and make sure these managers are always easily accessible to your employees.

Make sexual harassment a part of the contract

I’ll probably get shot for this because contracts are already a pain in the neck but here goes anyway… add a section to your Subcontractors contracts that addresses sexual harassment.

Not only do General Contractors need to have a policy in place for their own employees, they also need to ensure that there’s a policy in place for their subcontractor’s employees. Why?

Well, suppose you’re the GC and the incident happens on your jobsite? It’s not a stretch to imagine the victim listing you, the General Contractor, in the sexual harassment lawsuit right alongside the Subcontractor.

The victim(s) and harasser(s) could work for the same Subcontractor or for different Subcontractors but chances are if it’s your jobsite then you’ll be listed in the complaint(s).

Even if the victim files only against his/her employer (the Subcontractor) and doesn’t file against you, the Subcontractor might. He could argue that it was the GC’s responsibility to make sure one Subcontractor’s employees were not subjected to sexual harassment by another Subcontractor’s employees.

At least if you can show that you have a sexual harassment prevention program in place that addresses these types of incidents and that the Subcontractor(s) and their employee(s) were aware of this program, then there’s a good chance you can minimize any damage to yourself/your company.

State laws require employers to have sexual harassment
discrimination complaint procedures in place

Mentioned earlier in this article is the language of Assembly Bill 1825 and Government Code Section 12950.1 of California, specifically:

"Employer" means any person regularly employing 50 or more persons or regularly receiving the services of 50 or more persons providing services pursuant to a contract, or any person acting as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly, the state, or any political or civil subdivision of the state, and cities.

Any California General Contractor that does projects that employ 50 or more persons in the form of Subcontractors employees or that employ enough persons through their Subcontractors to equal 50 or more when added to their own number of employees could be required to adhere to California’s new sexual harassment discrimination legislation.

One way to manage this -

Same as a General might require a safety manual from his Subcontractor(s), he can require that his Subcontractor(s) provide him with a copy of their own (acceptable) sexual harassment policy; for those that don’t have a policy in place (or a policy acceptable to the General) the General Contractor can require that they (the Subcontractors and the employees of those Subcontractors) acknowledge and agree to his (the General Contractor) policy.

Of course there would probably need to be modifications made for the GC's sexual harassment program to work for his Subcontractors.

For one thing, this policy would need to take into consideration that, because those who would be filing the complaints are not the General Contractor’s employees, they will not necessarily have access to the same managers that the GC has designated, to take complaints from his own employees, and therefore may need to list other designees, such as the job superintendent(s).

Next: Love Contracts...

 

 

All pages in our Sexual Harassment Discrimination series:

Page 1: What is Sexual Harassment?
Page 2: Avoiding Sexual Harassment Lawsuits
Page 3: Compliance With Your State's Sexual Harassment Laws
Page 4: Institute a Sexual Harassment Training and Education Program
Page 5: Set Up an Official Complaint Procedure & Make It Part of the Contract
Page 6: Love Contracts & Pornographic Spam Email for Your Employees
Page 7: Questions and Suggestions About Sexual Harassment Discrimination

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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