Services: HR Strategy
The relationship between employers and employees in the U.S. is by default “at-will,” which means that either party may terminate the relationship at any time, with or without cause. What can seem to be a simple, flexible, employer-friendly practice at first glance may possibly create a favorable environment for litigation.
In addition, legislators and the judicial system take the issues of harassment and discrimination in the workplace very seriously, and so should employers. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), more than 84,000 harassment/discrimination charges were filed in 2017 against employers, and the numbers of such cases have trended upward over the past ten years.
In this context, it is essential for employers to take comprehensive measures to limit litigation risks, and to ensure a harassment/discrimination-free workplace.
Employers can take the following three preventive actions with an HR strategy:
- Provide employees with clear anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies in writing. These should make up a section of your employee handbook.
- Organize periodic anti-harassment training in the form of workshops or webinars. The State of New York passed a law that mandates all employers to provide employees with annual sexual harassment prevention training.
- Consider subscribing to an Employer Practice Liability Insurance policy which will cover the litigation costs of cases involving harassment and discrimination. This is highly recommended.
If you are not sure where to start, Axelia Partners’ HR team can assist you in implementing a preventive HR strategy. Please contact us for more information.