“Most employers aren’t aware they can be held legally liable for one of their employees even if they don’t condone the bad behavior,” said Milena Radovic, an Attorney with JacksonLewis.
On November 18th, the Hampton Roads Chamber and the Hampton Roads Society for Human Resource Management (HRSHRM) hosted a virtual webinar to inform participants of critical changes taking place in today’s workforce. Radovic presented Innocent Until Proven Guilty, When Employment Law Becomes Criminal.
With the rise of the #MeToo and Times Up movements, there was a drastic increase in sexual harassment claims in the workplace. “Ever since these movements started in October 2017, it has drastically changed the way employers handle sexual harassment claims. We saw a 13.8% increase in sexual harassment claims,” said Radovic.
Through an in-depth case study, Radovic walked the participants through a hypothetical sexual harassment in the workplace scenario and highlighted important information at each step of the process. She stressed the importance of companies actively investigating should an incident occur. Companies can be held liable for the action of their employees.
“I have developed this presentation that puts you in the place of the company where you have an employee accusing another employee of sexual misconduct. It gives you an idea of the process you would go through and how it would affect the company long term,” said Radovic.
It is important to have strict company policies laid out in an employee handbook and to stay updated on the best practices to protect your employees and company. Radovic also mentioned the benefit of video surveillance systems and to make sure that footage is kept for a defined length of time that matches the policy that is in place. She recommends a system that holds on to footage for longer than a week's period of time.
Special thank you to South Bay Communications for sponsoring this series.
To watch the presentation, click here.