Most of the time, business owners think lawsuits only come from outraged customers. Lawsuits don’t just come from outside a company but can also be brought up from the inside, such as when an employee files for sexual harassment against another employee.
The official description of sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual behavior or conduct that makes the workplace more uncomfortable, offensive, or hostile to the worker. This rather broad description can cover a lot of situations, from a group of workers habitually telling dirty jokes around the cooler to a superior making unwanted advances on his or her subordinate.
Sexual harassment can happen for both genders; male workers have been known to file sexual harassment lawsuits against female workers or managers, or even other males. However, a majority of these harassment cases are filed by women against male coworkers.
The key to deal with any lawsuit—to avert litigation or at least to be armed and prepared for one’s defense–is to consult an attorney with experience dealing with employment law. Lawyers can also make recommendations to help guide you and implement a harassment-free workplace.
One of the first steps is to draft a workplace policy against discrimination and sexual harassment. Your employee handbook should make it clear to everyone of the types of behavior your company would consider unacceptable, and have the employees understand the consequences of such violations, ranging from suspensions to dismissal.