There has been an increase in workplace sexual harassment and gender discrimination claims. As such, it is recommended that Tennessee employers review their harassment policies and make adjustments in order to avoid these types of issues.
Employers should be very specific when t comes to listing things that are considered to be "harassing" in nature. There are cases where employees may simply not be aware that certain behaviors, such as sex-based or gender-based jokes, repeatedly asking coworkers for dates and using derogatory slang, can be viewed as harassment by other employees. In addition to having specific sexual harassment policies in places, employers should also focus on training employees and reminding them consistently about the policies.
If an incident of sexual harassment does occur, employers should make it very clear that reporting the incident is extremely important. Further, they should make it clear that retaliation for reporting the incident is not tolerated. The employer should also take care to be consistent when applying the policies and investigating reports of sexual harassment incidents. Not only can consistency result in a healthier work environment, but it can also help employers avoid lawsuits and other legal consequences should they not act to protect their employees.
When employees experience sexual harassment while at work, they may find that their job performance and even their mental health might suffer. In some cases, this could cause them to miss promotions or even be terminated if they report the incident. Those who experience workplace discrimination or harassment and retaliation for reporting the incidents should contact an employment discrimination attorney to determine what options they might have.