Managers Have To Remain Focused!
I have handled a number of mediations over the last few months and each one of them have involved managers who are not staying focused with safe-guarding the work environment. We must remain steadfast in ensuring that employees are not going to be subjected to workplace humor, horseplay, and innuendo. Employees are losing their jobs because of layoffs. That means no job, no medical, and no visible means of support. Where does that leave them? If they have even the slightest chance to sue, they will. It does not take much for them to go to an attorney and give any facts that can interpreted (or mis-interpreted) as a violation of their workplace rights.
It’s not hard. Put out a memo or discuss this in your managers meeting. Remind them that in California they have personal liability. Furthermore, they have to understand that the former employee does not have to come up with money to press the matter to litigation. Attorneys work on percentages and it only cost them a few hundred dollars to file that “boiler plate” complaint. They merely have to change the name and adjust the facts.
I have been very successful with getting these types of matters resolved through mediation. It’s getting tougher. If you receive a letter from an attorney you must get it to me immediately. If you are actually sued and are served with a lawsuit you must contact me immediately. Mediation can still be an option.
If you need to discuss this any further please call me! In addition, we are in the process of scheduling the mandatory sexual harassment trainings. It is critical that we get in and re-enforce the seriousness of what is going on out there. The managers have got to understand the risk and sometimes hearing it from an outside source is more beneficial.