Steps to avoiding a hostile work environment (according to federal law)

Written By Steps To Faculty Published August 13th, 2010

Recent headlines of disgruntled employees and the increase of workplace violence has lead many employers to review the guidelines of employment lane of the biggest types of lawsuits filed by angry workers is that of having to work in a hostile or abusive environment, which makes the employee feel unwanted or pressured. Equally, many employees feel trapped and have become jaded when all they have seen is that negative workers get all the priase and get away with bad behavior and with violating federal employment law on hostile workplaces. Thus there is an increase in these lawsuits. You need to protect yourself and your business from this as it can be financially devastating. Take a look at what you can do.

Step 1 Stop gossip

The first step in creating a nonabusive atmosphere is to prevent and eliminate gossip among coworkers. While this sounds trivial, gossip against other coworkers is the quickest way to end up with a hostile environment. Remember, you do not know who is secretly studying your workplace at all times in preparation for a lawsuit. Therefore, it is essential that up front all employees and staff understand that gossip of any kind will not be tolerated. This includes celebrity gossip, politics, religon, racial, and sexual orientation.

Step 2 Take complaints seriously

If an employee files a complaint, do not overlook it. Often times, when an employee complains, they feel as though it is there last choice. Like many crimes that go unreported, many workers do not report abusive behavior or their discomfort to avoid being crucified by other employees or being mocked. But every employee is valuable and must be considered in an objective manner. Take steps to ensure that the complaint is resolved and follow up with the employee to ensure satisfaction at the work and in the workplace.

Step 3 Establish a check system

Monitor the behavior of all employees on a monthly basis to ensure that each is following all company rules. If you let a situation fester for even a short period of time (say a week), then it can get out of control and lead to a shooting or a multimillion dollar lawsuit.

Step 4 Listen

Observe and listen to the conversations between employees at all times possible. Make notes as to what is really going on when employees do not suspect you are watching them. That is how you really learn the truth about the organization and can prevent a hostile environment before it spirals out of control.

Step 5 Bring in an attorney

From time to time ask an attorney or spy to watch employees at the workplace and even afterhours to see how they behave when there is a new employee. Have the new employee be of a different race or religon or even sexual orientation. By doing so, you can truly ensure that emplyoees are following all federal guidelines and not just lipsynching. This may sound devious, but you will be faced with a heafty fine and lawsuit and can go bankrupt if you do not keep a track of the behavior in the workplace to ensure it is harmonious.

Happy workplaces lead to happy employees, which lead to more profits. Please visit stepsto.com for more great business advice.


Roger Due

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