Recently, you hired your first employees for your Pennsylvania-based company. Rather than wait until you run into a commercial law issue, do what you can to get ahead of common workplace issues. What have you done so far to prevent the existence of a hostile work environment?
Chron offers tips to help make your office safe for everyone. Understand the laws, policies and training that protect your employees and support a positive company culture.
Make it apparent from an employee’s first day that you do not tolerate any harassing behavior that leads to a toxic work environment. Let employees know where you stand on discrimination and harassment and how you handle the two should they ever become an issue. Double-check that the policy’s language is easy to understand and not open to misinterpretation.
What do you know about the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act? These laws, set forth by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, touch on workplace discrimination. The laws also define workplace harassment as “unwelcome conduct, behavior and actions that create an environment where an employee feels she cannot perform her job duties.”
Another aspect of preventing a hostile work environment is having employees complete training, even though the EEOC does not require it. During training, let employees know the latest harassment laws and how they fit or match your company policy, adding examples to training so your team has a firm understanding of the concept. Know that state laws may require training where federal law does not. Check the most current requirements regarding the length of training and how often you must provide it.
You can avoid some hostile work environment issues. Protect yourself and your employees with proactive actions.