Running head: MITIGATION OF LEGAL ISSUES
LEGAL ISSUES 2
Mitigation of Legal Issues
Dr. Thomas Hennefer
April 30, 2018
Company growth is one of the most important factors which determine whether a company survives in a particular market or not. In the event that there are issues which might affect the sustainable growth of especially small and mid-size organizations, growth analysts have to make sure that the management of the company knows about them and make appropriate decisions on how to solve them. In this case, while reviewing the growth of Pro-marketers Agency, a local marketing company in my state founded by a close childhood friend, I noticed that issues of diversity and sexual harassment are having major impacts on the culture of the company. Such issues are catastrophic to any company, especially the startups when they start attracting public attention, plus, as long as they exist, legal issues are bound to come up. Such issues form foundations for court cases which in many cases, the company involved becomes the biggest loser (Muskovitz, M. 2016). For this reason, the following policies have been developed in order to ensure that such issues do not occur and in the process cause problems on the performance of victim employees as well as cause legal problems to the company as a whole.
This policy has been developed with the purpose of ensuring that the work environment of this company provides and upholds diversity in all the fields of employment to people of different genders, race, ethnicity, religion, skin color, nationality of origin, disability, marital status and class in the society (Klein, K.J. Harrison, D.A. 2007). All kinds of unfair and unlawful discrimination acts are opposed in this organization. In the event that the administration is notified of such an act in the company, appropriate action will be taken on the perpetrators which might include suspension, termination of work or legal actions.
All employees of this company will treat each other with the deserved respect and fairness whether working on a part-time, temporary or permanent basis. The industry will always support procedures for selection based on the individual’s ability and aptitude for any company processes which include employment, promotions, employee training as well as the allocation of other work benefits. Any employee found to have been offered a position or any benefit using procedural practices stipulated by the HR will be deprived of the benefit immediately and may face other disciplinary actions as decided by the management.
This company recognizes all its employees and the purpose of your presence as part of the workforce, for this reason, all employees are entitled to support, help, and encouragement while working for us in order to ensure that they realize their full potentials and in the process maximize utilization of their efficiency in the organization (Kelly, E. Dobbin, F. 2002).
Pro-marketers Agency is committed to ensuring that each and every individual recruited to be part of its workforce works in an environment that which fosters and upholds respect and dignity. There will be no tolerance for any act that can be interpreted as bullying, intimidation or harassment. This company is committed to ensuring that the diversity policies set are fully adhered to because diversity in the workplace has been proven to be a productive practice in business management, allowing for sharing ideas and perspectives which lead to overall business development (Klein, K.J. Harrison, D.A. 2007).
Any reported, noticed or observed breach of the diversity policy set will be treated as a form of misconduct in the workplace and hence will most probably attract the most appropriate disciplinary actions depending on the nature of the breach. There will be an annual monitoring and review of this policy to ensure that it becomes part of the company’s cultural values. This will be done through interviews, focus groups, questionnaires conducted by externally sourced research, motoring and evaluation teams which will present a report of their findings.
Sexual Harassment Policy
This is a policy developed for the purpose of protecting the men and women working for Pro-marketers Agency against any sexual advances which are unwanted, how to report an incident and, disciplinary and recovery measures which will be taken (Handrick, L. 2017). The company will not have tolerance for any kind of sexual harassment of any kind in the place of work or company vicinity. The management will ensure that a culture based on collaboration and mutual respect I upheld, and such a conduct is a severe violation of the principles which foster this culture.
This policy will be applied to each and every person working for Pro-marketers Agency irrespective of their level or seniority in the company hierarchy, sexual orientation, their functions in the company, gender or any other characteristic associated with an individual. Other people, in addition to employees, covered by this policy either inside or outside the company premises include investors, customers contracted individuals and any other as long as they interact with this company in one way or another (Muskovitz, M. 2016)
There is no one who holds a right to sexually harass people employed in our company. In the event that an individual is found guilty of a serious breach of the policy, their contract will be terminated immediately. If at all the individual is contracted from an external institution, the management will move to ensure that the parent company takes appropriate disciplinary actions against them. It has to be understood that there is nothing like a minor sexual harassment case because any incident is a seed that leads to another. Such harassments also cause wear down the victims reducing their productivity, hence, the company will listen to any claim and punish perpetrators if found guilty.
The company sexual harassment policy also holds to the assertion that any claim of such an offence is legitimate up until the opposite is proven. This is mainly for the purpose of ensuring that cases are reported and dealt with without any undermining of the principle. It has to be known that sexual harassment is mostly about how we make the other person feel since some behaviors and comments might be considered too light to be treated as harassment, however, if at all the other party seems to be uncomfortable, one must stop.
The company also will not tolerate any behavior that shows victimization of employees who have been harassed. The company will ensure that the victim works as before or even better without any show of malice or unfairness against them. From this policy, it also has to be clear that anyone found to be in support or who tried to give a blind eye to a case of sexual harassment will be treated to be at fault just like the offenders (Handrick, L. 2017). This will apply even to managers who should be at the forefront to ensure such harassments do not occur in the company. In the event that a manager lets go of anyone, it will be perceived as an encouragement of the behavior which will lead to disciplinary actions against them. Any other witness to a case has to report to the HR or any manager close to them and appropriate action will be taken.
Reporting a sexual harassment incident.
In the event that you have been harassed or suspect an employee is being harassed, please report it to the HR manager. In case of a serious case such as sexual assault, call the authorities and inform the HR and report your intention of pressing charges. It is true that in some cases it is hard to come out and share such an offence but help us help you. For ease in reporting, you can request for an urgent meeting with the management and give details together with any evidence available. It is also allowed to share via email addressed to your supervisor attached with information which can be evidence and you will be contacted as soon as possible. In the event that you want to press charges, the company will provide any evidence needed as well as support in any possible way (Muskovitz, M. 2016)
Sexual Harassment Training Program
In order to effectively communicate this policy, I chose to use an all-hands meeting in order to review it and appropriately clarify the expectations. It would follow the following order.
Introduction: At this point of the training program, introductions will be made such as the name of the person presenting, and some employees can also introduce themselves. After this, the topic of the session is introduced, in this case, how to Prevent Sexual Harassment. The purpose of the training will also be given, which is implementation of the new company policy against sexual harassment (Duggan, T. 2010)
Definition of Sexual Harassment: This will be the second phase of the training program and the definition to be provided in this case will be any harassment which is perpetrated basing on the sex of an individual. They may include advances which are unwelcomed, requests for favors which are sexual and other verbal or physical harassments which are of sexual nature.
The third step in the training program will include the description of behaviors which are classified as sexual harassment and hence prohibited. These will include any kind of insinuation or demand for favor which involves a sexual activity; constant invading of another person’s personal space despite their demand to stop; graphic or written messages sent to an unwilling colleague; stalking, intimidation or threats to another with the demand for engagement in sexual acts; sexual comments towards another about their look, dressing or sexuality in a manner that is derogatory or objectifying making them uncomfortable; making comments, jokes or gestures which are obscene in order to offend others; persistent flirting or pursue without the other party’s willingness; and finally, the most extreme form which is a serious criminal offence and the company will give full support to any victim who is willing to press charges against the perpetrator/s is sexual assault (Handrick, L. 2017).
The fourth step of the training program will be on how to report the policy violations. Here a description of how the company will be able to handle any kind of report about a violation of the policy will be clearly stated. An assurance will be given about how serious the company takes sexual violation cases and why it is important to report the issues whenever they come up. In this case, anyone harassed sexually in this company will be able to report directly to the company owner, HR or supervisor at any time, and appropriate action will be taken without any favor.
The step that will follow in the training program is an open forum where anybody will be allowed to share their misunderstandings, concerns, inquiries and other information needed to enable proper synthesis of the provided information. It will also offer an opportunity to gauge understanding of the policy.
Finally, the wrap up of the training will offer a summary of the entire session. The policy will also be posted both physically, which include internal and external posters, and electronically via emails to all the people who are involved. The policy forms will also be signed by each and every one in the training showing agreement to whatever has been written together with the consequences (Duggan, T. 2010)
Duggan, T. 2010. How Do I Plan a Human Resource Training Program in an Organization Setting? Chron. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/plan-human-resource-training-program-organization-setting-2553.html
Handrick, L. 2017. Sexual Harassment Training Guide for Small Businesses. Fitsmallbusiness. Retrieved from https://fitsmallbusiness.com/sexual-harassment-training-guide/
Kelly, E. Dobbin, F. (2002). ‘How Affirmative Action Became Diversity Management: Employer Response to Anti-Discrimination Law, 1961-1996’, American Behavioral Scientist 41(7): 960-84.
Klein, K.J. Harrison, D.A. (2007). On the Diversity of Diversity: Tidy Logic, Messier Realities, Academy of Management Perspectives.
Lussier, R., & Hendon, J. (2016). Human Resource Management: Functions, Applications, and Skill Development (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Muskovitz, M. 2016. Hostile Environment Claims: Not Limited to Sexual Harassment. The Balance. Retrieved from: https://www.thebalance.com/sexual-harassment-claims-1918632