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
in place to tackle these types of issues,
but that the employee did not follow the procedures and notify
of the problem.
Be sure to provide on-going
sexual harassment prevention and training to the managers who are responsible
and following through on complaints, and make sure these
managers are always easily accessible to your employees.
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
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
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
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
a good chance you can minimize any damage to yourself/your
State laws require
employers to have sexual harassment
Mentioned earlier in this article is the language of Assembly
Bill 1825 and Government Code Section 12950.1 of California,
"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
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
For one thing, this policy would need to take into consideration
that, because those
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
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