The construction industry by and large has been male dominated. The modern trend, however, has seen the construction workforce filled with more and more women. On top of that, the media has focused the spotlight on the important issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. Are you prepared to handle claims by one employee against another that one has been the victim of sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is not limited to one male and one female. Sexual harassment can occur between two males, two females, a supervisor and an employee, or any other combination of factors you can imagine. The first step to preventing sexual harassment is to have a clear policy in place that clearly prohibits hostile conduct associated with sexual harassment, as well as having procedures in place for employees to file a complaint. The policy should also provide procedures for investigating a sexual harassment complaint and appropriate punishment guidelines. Finally, the policy needs to provide adequate procedures for training employees on the issues involved with sexual harassment on the jobsite.
Information acquired from the complaint and investigation should be included in a report that is stored in a safe location. Above all, the employer must remain reasonable and strive to determine the truth of the matter. Failing to exercise reasonable care after claims of sexual harassment have been made may result in legal liability for the employer.
Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. Regulations and laws may vary depending on your location. Consult with a licensed attorney in your area if you wish to obtain legal advice and/or counsel for a particular legal issue.