ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 35

W

hile the #MeToo movement has actually been
around for years, it gained
viral traction recently in the aftermath
of allegations of sexual harassment
and assault by movie producer Harvey
Weinstein and a growing list of other
well-known, and not so well-known,
offenders. In the face of growing
concern and awareness, businesses and
organizations around the country are
dusting off their harassment policies
and turning a new eye toward ways in
which they communicate about and
respond to incidents of harassment in
the workplace.
What Policies Need
to Be in Place?
Although sexual harassment is top
of mind these days, harassment can
take a variety of forms, says Jeffrey L.
Leiter, an employment law attorney
with Bassman, Mitchell, Alfano &
Leiter Chtd., in Washington, D.C.
Leiter prefers the language "hostile
work environment."
"It could simply be anything from
people using foul language to sabotaging somebody's workspace - kind of
the 'not playing nice in the sandbox'
type of thing - to the other end
being 'so-and-so complained about me
and the supervisor retaliated,'" he said.
Harassment, or a hostile work environment, might also include telling
ethnic jokes, name-calling, physical
assault or threat of assault, insults or
even offensive drawings or pictures
being posted. Leiter adds that he has
even seen instances where the use of
certain emojis is giving rise to claims
of harassment - including sending
somebody an emoji with a thumbs up
or sending a champagne glass emoji.
Harassment, says Leiter, is really
based on the perspective of the person
being harassed.
Importantly, it's not just sexual
harassment that organizations need to

be concerned about, agrees David D.
Schein, Ph.D., director of graduate
programs and associate professor at
the Cameron School of Business,
University of St. Thomas, in Houston,
and a management consultant and
attorney. As he works with organizations, Schein said, "A key element I
focus on is harassment in general and
not just sexual harassment. Sexual
harassment is important, but people
also should not be made to feel bad
because of their race or their nationality, or even their physical appearance."
Companies should have an overall
anti-harassment policy in place, agrees
Charles Krugel, a management-side
labor and employment lawyer and
human resources (HR) counselor
based in Chicago. "Such a policy
addresses all forms of illegal
harassment - race, gender, age,
disability, national origin, religion
and, if applicable to the jurisdiction,
socioeconomic status and sexual
orientation," he said.
To put it simply: Employees need
to be ensured of a workplace free
from any type of harassment, period.
Just having a policy in place, though,
might not be sufficient. When is the
last time you reviewed your policy
or policies? Have they been kept up
to date and relevant given changes in
laws and regulations and the changing
social environment - including the
rise of social media use and texting,
for instance?
What Should Be
Included in Your
Policies?
Policies need to be specific in terms of
providing definitions of harassment.
"Defining illegal harassment versus
prohibited conduct is necessary
because not all forms or types of
harassment are illegal," Krugel said.
"For example, bullying without
regard to someone's protected class is

still generally legal - although not
advisable - in the workplace."
Also important is including information about how, when and in what
form claims should be communicated,
says Krugel. It is also essential, he
said, "to explain how the results of an
investigation will be communicated to
those concerned."
Policy language should indicate who
will conduct an investigation and how,
when and where it will be conducted.
"It's also advisable to delineate how
claimants and witnesses will be
protected from retaliation during and
after an investigation," he said. "I usually provide a witness and claimants a
sort of 'bill of rights.'"
It's important to be explicit. There
should be no ambiguity in terms of
both understanding what harassment
"looks like" and the consequences for
such behavior.
"A clear list of consequences should
be published for everyone to see,
starting with a verbal warning, written
warning, suspension and termination,
with the understanding that egregious
violations may result, on the first
offense, in immediate termination for
cause," said David Porter, founder and
president of David Porter Advisors
LLC in San Antonio and a certified
public accountant, business advisor
and executive coach.
As an indication of how serious
employers are about nipping harassment in the bud, something new that
Schein sees being incorporated into
policies today is a strong statement
to employees, not just managers,
that "if you observe something and
don't come forward, you'll get written
up just like the person who was the
offender." It's a strong statement that
conveys a clear message that maintaining a non-hostile work environment is
everybody's responsibility.
Finally, says Porter, another
important policy consideration is an

35



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ILMA Compoundings May 2018

LETTER FROM THE CEO
INSIDE ILMA
Company Callout
WHAT’S COMING UP
NEW MEMBERS
INDUSTRY RUNDOWN
In the Know
International Insight
Market Report
SMOOTH TRANSITION
PERILOUSLY OBSOLETE
HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE
BUSINESS HUB
COUNSEL COMPOUND
WASHINGTON LANDSCAPE
IN NETWORK
Member Connections
Cross Connections
PORTRAIT
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - Cover1
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - Cover2
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 1
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 2
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - LETTER FROM THE CEO
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - INSIDE ILMA
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 5
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 6
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 7
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - Company Callout
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 9
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - WHAT’S COMING UP
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 11
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - NEW MEMBERS
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 13
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - INDUSTRY RUNDOWN
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 15
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 16
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - In the Know
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - International Insight
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 19
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - Market Report
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 21
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - SMOOTH TRANSITION
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 23
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 24
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 25
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 26
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 27
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 28
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 29
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - PERILOUSLY OBSOLETE
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 31
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 32
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 33
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 35
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 36
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 37
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 38
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 39
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - BUSINESS HUB
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 41
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - COUNSEL COMPOUND
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 43
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 44
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 45
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 46
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - WASHINGTON LANDSCAPE
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - Member Connections
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 49
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - Cross Connections
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - 51
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - PORTRAIT
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - Cover3
ILMA Compoundings May 2018 - Cover4
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