Bergman Dacey Goldsmith


How smart businesses protect themselves against harassment claims

Many successful businesses have to worry about the potential for a lawsuit by a current or former employee damaging both their profit margin and their reputation within the community in which they operate.

Harassment and discrimination lawsuits could do a lot of damage to your business, which is why any company that has any number of employees should have proactive policies in place to prevent an instance of discrimination or harassment from occurring at the business. They usually also have plans in place in case someone does experience harassment while at work.

As an employer, there are certain things that you can do that can drastically reduce the likelihood of harassment at your business and the potential for it to go unaddressed.

Talk about discrimination and harassment in your employment contracts

One of the problems that companies can have is an inability to take decisive action against staff members who discriminate against or harass others at work. Your best option to protect your company will be to include a clause in your employment contract that forbids any discriminatory behaviors, including any form of harassment.

By including it in your contract, you can make it a fireable offense, which makes it easier for you to address the issue and prevent ongoing harassment from affecting workplace morale among your staff.

Each staff member should have training on harassment and sensitivity

Too many people think that ending harassment in the workplace means ending employee get-togethers or keeping people from telling jokes. It is only offensive and inappropriate humor or interactions that businesses have to worry about.

Providing staff members with training that helps them identify both discriminatory behavior or patterns of harassment in other people as well as internal tendencies toward discrimination can reduce the likelihood of harassment becoming an issue in your workplace. Ensuring that each staff member undergoes the training also helps you comply with important employment laws and shows a no-tolerance policy toward discrimination or harassment.

Create a clear reporting structure and bypass method

All too often, those dealing with harassment in the workplace don't feel comfortable coming forward because their direct supervisor is part of the problem. Creating a separate reporting hierarchy that does not directly include managers, team leaders and others in supervisory roles can make it easier for people to speak up about mistreatment.

Usually, members of the human resources department can fulfill harassment and discrimination reporting needs. You may even want to institute a secondary procedure in case members of human resources involved in your chain of reporting are among those accused of harassment.

Businesses have different needs, which is why it is of utmost importance to consider the culture at your company and the potential for harassment in different scenarios when strategizing on how to protect your company in the future.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Honors and memberships

super lawyers best lawyers Top Ranked Chambers | Global | 2019 | Leading Law Firm Network AV preeminent bar register preeminent lawyers corporate intl global awards winner 2019
Email Us

contact us

Call us at 310-470-6110 to schedule your free consultation appointment. You may also email our firm to request your appointment. Our firm has three
offices for your convenience: Los Angeles, Costa Mesa and Oxnard. Contact us today.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Los Angeles Office
10880 Wilshire Boulevard
Suite 900
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Phone: 310-470-6110
Fax: 310-474-0931

Costa Mesa Office
555 Anton Boulevard
Suite 150
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Phone: 949-494-1393
Fax: 949-494-8963
Map & Directions

Oxnard Office
300 East Esplanade Drive
Suite 900
Oxnard, CA 93036

Phone: 805-330-8093
Fax: 805-330-8094
Map & Directions

  • boulevard map
  • Anton map
  • oxnard map