Sexual harassment lawsuits may cost New York employers a lot of money. They may also act to tarnish a company's brand. Therefore, it is critical for employers to take steps to prevent such lawsuits from occurring. In some cases, it may be as easy as updating corporate policy related to sexual harassment in the workplace. All companies should have policies that are clear and that are in writing.
As part of a written policy, employees should know that they will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint or taking other legal action. If a claim is made, it should be investigated thoroughly and in a timely manner. Employers should train their employees to recognize discrimination and to stop it from happening. Training may be done online or through classes run by a lawyer or another person familiar with discrimination laws.
Employee reviews should be focused on job performance only without looking at a worker's gender or sexual orientation. Employers should be aware of the proper ways to terminate an employee as well as what questions can be asked as part of the interview process. It may also be a good idea to keep good records regarding meetings and employee performance reviews. If an employee receives a warning, that should be done in writing.
Employers that are facing a sexual harassment claim may benefit from talking with legal counsel. An attorney may be able to review a company's written sexual harassment policy or review other facts in the case to create a defense against the claim. As lawsuits may be more of a distraction than a company is willing to deal with, an attorney may also work to settle a case out of court and in a timely manner.