What an Employer Can Do to Prevent Becoming the Next Weinstein or Wynn — Part II

HR Dive

David W. Garland, Member of the Firm and Chair of the firm’s National Employment, Labor & Workforce Management Steering Committee, authored an article in HR Dive, titled “What an Employer Can Do to Prevent Becoming the Next Weinstein or Wynn — Part II.”

Following is an excerpt:

In Part I, we identified some of the steps that an employer should take to minimize the risk that it might find itself in the headlines because of sex harassment allegations against a founder or other key player in the organization. Those steps included creating a culture of compliance, communicating with a complainant after the complaint is made, establishing a safe work environment for employees and providing effective training to the employee population. In Part II, we discuss additional steps that the C-suite should be taking.

A key first step is having in place the right team and protocol before a complaint is made and publicized. With the disappearance of a traditional news cycle — and the emergence of a non-stop, 24/7 social media culture — any lapse in response time can have a devastating impact on a company’s reputation and brand. The team must consist of senior leadership with decision-making authority from human resources, legal and communications, as well as their top lieutenants. Key high-level management personnel also should be integrated, depending on the identity of the complainant and the alleged harasser. Team members should receive significant training on the company’s harassment policy and appropriate investigative and remedial responses.