Managers often get involved in the day-to-day work that they do not know how to engage with employees in a way that maintains the health of the workforce and minimize conflict. Incidents of harassment and other interpersonal issues often arise unexpectedly and when management staff are focused on their business productivity, it is easy to lose sight of obligations to protect employees from harassment in the workplace.
Employers should ensure that their managements staff learn to recognize harassment, understand its implications and effectively meet the company’s obligations to address it. Harassment can lead to a broad range of liabilities for the employer including Occupational Health and Safety Claims as well as Civil Claims.
Prevention of harassment requires management to maintain the trust and confidence of their employees so they are able to come forward if they happen to experience harassment in the workplace. This relationship will be largely based on comprehensive workplace policies that employees can rely upon to understand their employer’s expectations and obligations.
Having regular presentations that advise management on their obligations as representatives can be more important than resolving potential litigation matters.