Many high-profile figures have been accused of sexual harassment within the last year and essentially seen their careers come to an end as a result. In this environment, it is important for business owners in all industries, including the restaurant industry, to have frank discussions about the state of their harassment policies and, if they haven’t already, to implement policies that can curb the incidence of harassment in the workplace and create an environment in which all employees can feel safe.
Below are some tips for restauranteurs to keep in mind when developing harassment policies:
- Have the policy written down and distributed: It’s not enough to have a strong policy. It must also be written down and distributed to everyone who works for the restaurant. It should contain elements such as prohibiting all forms of harassment, explanations of what qualifies as harassment, examples of disciplinary actions and prohibitions against retaliation for any employees who step forward with complaints.
- Implement training: All new employees at the restaurant should have sexual assault training implemented as part of their other training procedures they go through. The training can be provided in any medium, as long as it is reasonably effective, but the best medium is having it done in person with opportunities for engagement.
- Enforce the policy: Once you have a policy in place, you have to actually enforce it consistently and according to the standards you laid out. No exceptions—everyone is subject to the same rules. You may need to conduct some form of investigation. But once you have reached a conclusion, you must take appropriate action if you believe the accused employee violated the policy. The level of corrective action can be determined based on the severity of the offense.
To learn more about how you can prevent harassment from happening in the workplace, contact a knowledgeable Dallas whistleblower attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.