Sexual Harassment Allegations Can Leave A Business In Ruins

Sexual harassment has devastating consequences for not only the victims, but for the businesses involved as well.

With many sexual harassment cases costing companies both large and small in the millions of dollars, it’s in a business’s best interest to take the proper steps to ensure the harassment never happens in the first place.

The Numbers

Sexual harassment can bankrupt companies and ruin lives. And, although it seems sexual harassment cases involving large businesses are the only ones reported, plenty of small businesses suffer from sexual harassment lawsuits too.

In fact, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that in the year 2012 alone, more than 15,000 sexual harassment cases were filed. And, according to the EEOC, the number of cases has steadily risen since the commission was formed years ago.

To break the numbers down even further, the EEOC also collected data on the number sexual harassment cases filed over the past 12 years. According to the EEOC’s Integrated Mission System, monetary benefits for workplace sexual harassment victims averaged $44 million a year with roughly 25% of the cases resulting in costly administrative closures.

With numbers like this, businesses must take action in order to end the workplace victimization and stop the senseless harassment that takes place in offices across the country everyday. In order to accomplish this, businesses need to take preventative measures.

Prevention

Considering sexual harassment is particularly devastating to small businesses, one of the essentials of small business management is to have the proper harassment policies in place. Without a straightforward system, some employees might not even know they’re harassing others.

Understanding Sexual Harassment

The first step in preventing sexual harassment in the workplace is making sure all employees know exactly what it is.

The EEOC breaks down sexual harassment into three main categories: sexual advances, sexual requests, and verbal or physical conduct.

Creating Policies

To help employees better understand what constitutes sexual harassment, anti-harassment policies should be in place. Policies should act as a guideline that explains consequences and how to file complaints.

Taking Immediate Action

If a workplace incident involving sexual harassment does arise, it’s extremely important that the matter is looked into promptly. In order for this to take place, the victim must feel he or she can come forward without judgment.

Once the victim makes a claim, there must be repercussions or else the incident will likely happen again. In extreme situations, the case could even be brought to court.

Are You Insured?

Also known as Employment Practices Liability Insurance, sexual harassment insurance is especially important for small businesses that might not have the means to handle a case if the claim should go to court.

Most sexual harassment insurance cover defense costs, court fees, and related expenses that could cripple a small business. And, although most claims aren’t severe enough to become a legal issue, the ones that do make it to court end up costing companies millions.

Sexual harassment is a serious issue that should be met with swift consequences.

The best way to prevent future cases is to educate employees and always be professional in the workplace.

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Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health, family, and business practices.