In today’s diverse work environment, everyone deserves a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that fosters cooperation, individuality, and organizational achievement. Harassment based on gender identity, national origin, or any other personal characteristic damages not only the individual but also the company as a whole. Race and sex discrimination must be handled with proper training protocols and corrective actions in accordance with state and federal law.
What is Unlawful Harassment?
Workplace harassment is still a major problem and is alleged in 30% of all charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to the Department of Labor, workplace harassment can cause an intimidating or hostile work environment.
Prevention is the best tool to eliminate harassment in the workplace. A healthy work environment is one in which employees feel comfortable. It also includes identifying when harassment has taken place and the confidence that their employer will take the appropriate action. Ensuring that employees have access to comprehensive harassment training programs allows employers to create a safer, more inclusive workplace.
Defining Workplace Harassment and Discrimination
There are several different types of harassment that constitute unlawful harassment, according to federal and state guidelines. Causing someone to feel intimidated or humiliated based on their sex, race, color, ethnicity, disability, or sexual preference is illegal and unwarranted in any workplace. It is essential to provide training to highlight the nuances of harassment. These types of harassment can take many forms, from the most subtle to the most egregious, including verbal, physical, visual, sexual, and electronic harassment.
The Civil Rights Act of 1991 has amended several statutes enforced by EEOCA, both substantively and procedurally. Parties can now obtain jury trials and recover compensatory and punitive damages in Title VII and ADA lawsuits involving intentional discrimination. The law forbids discrimination in any act of employment, including:
The hiring or firing of an employee based on anything other than work experience and work activities is strictly prohibited in existing law. Failure to adhere to the standards outlined in the Civil Rights Act can result in severe disciplinary action and significant lawsuits.
An employee’s pay cannot be determined by any other factors other than performance and capabilities. Individual adherence to an organization’s rules and regulations can also impact the compensation package they receive through their employer.
Job assignments are intended to give individuals responsibilities for additional action items in the workplace. They can not be used as a punishment against an employee or be awarded to an individual for any reason other than work performance.
Promotions must be given in accordance with employee performance. They are not a means to reward particular individuals that gain favor for reasons other than their work abilities.
Layoffs can not be targeted against any specific groups or individuals within an organization. If layoffs occur, each instance must fall within the guidelines set forth by existing discrimination law.
Training programs should be used to increase personal accountability within a facility. Education opportunities must be provided to all employees directly affected by policy changes within the organization.
Fringe benefits are benefits given in addition to regular compensation. Fringe benefits can not be awarded to employees for anything other than exceptional service to a company.
Any other term/condition of employment
Additional conditions of employment can not be based on an individual’s race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or other personal life choices.
Why Anti-Harassment Training is Important
“Prevention is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace from occurring. They should clearly communicate to employees that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. They can do so by providing sexual harassment training to their employees and by establishing an effective complaint or grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains.” – EEOC Guidelines
Failing to train your staff on the impact of harassment could negatively impact the company. This could include outcomes such as corporate punitive damages owed if harassment takes place unaddressed by management. Training employees on the scope of workplace harassment helps to create a knowledgeable workforce and avoid issues that could cause individual or organization liability. Federal and state laws require the inclusion of harassment prevention training in order for a healthcare facility to comply with existing regulations.
Having access to unlawful harassment training helps organizations stay on top of policies and procedures with minimal effort. In turn, they create a positive and safe work environment for their employees. To protect you and your employees, everyone needs to feel comfortable enough to step forward and react quickly when harassment has taken place.
Anti-harassment training requirements have consistently been shown to reduce and prevent workplace discrimination. It starts with supervisors and managers and trickles down throughout the organization to every single employee.
MedTrainer®: Providing Superior Employee Training Programs For Discrimination and Harassment Prevention
MedTrainer® provides an all-in-one software solution to the problems faced in the ever-changing healthcare industry. Our anti-harassment training programs are part of a larger mission to provide the tools necessary to maintain optimal workplace conditions for healthcare staff and patients. With comprehensive healthcare compliance tools like SDS management, as well as other industry-specific training programs, your facility can attain an equitable, rewarding, and productive work environment.
Contact MedTrainer® today for more information or to schedule a demonstration.