MORE AT FOUR: Changing a culture of sexual harassment in the workplace

HR professionals discuss prevention and response to workplace misconduct

The recent rash of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace prompts many to wonder, 'What needs to be done to change an apparent culture across the country? And who is responsible for such change?'

"Leaders and organizations have a legal obligation ito create a safe work environment for people and to help them understand what that line is," said Laura Ingram, vice president of human resources services at AAIM Employer's Association.

AAIM provides human resources services that businesses nationwide use to hire, develop and retain employees. Ingram advises several tips for employers to cultivate healthy workplace environments.

Employers must have a clear policy describing sexual harassment and protocols in place. They should also provide training for employees and be open to inviting a third party to conduct an investigation, according to Ingram.

"But when it comes down to it -- it's a pretty clear line," Ingram said. "We're talking about sexual advances that are unwelcome. We're talking about requests for sexual favors, and we're talking about things that are either verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature."

Ingram encourages employees to report issues to the company if they have been harassed on the job. She also says there should be an ethics officer within the company available to employees.

 


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