New Polls in the #MeToo Era Suggest 3 Changes to Human Resources Practices and Investigations

Bruce’s Summary: Well, we’re more than half way through 2018 and workplace harassment and retaliation allegations are still rolling in and so are the polls on this critical subject. The author does a good job of bringing to our attention several polls including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s estimate that 90 percent of women who have been harassed never report it. It would appear that with the #MeToo movement bringing this subject to national attention and the EEOC’s directed focus on this matter, the percentage of reported incidents is increasing.
The author focused on three key areas that may help increase awareness and more reporting. The first is more effective and proactive training (on the front end), second, as a result of a number of surveys, it is recommended that employers increase leadership training in specific areas like mentoring and coaching. The third, being accessible and credible investigation procedures (on the back end).
For HR Professionals and small business owners, the author gives a good overview for tweaking their current investigative process. First, focusing on selecting the right internal investigator or accepting the fact that they do not have the right internal talent and focus on using an outside neutral investigative resource. Second, understanding how critical it is in assessing credibility; third, how to deal with a “superstar” respondent; and fourth; staying aware and adapting to new state or federal legislation on harassment.
As we all know in the past for HR Professionals and small business owners one of the biggest challenges was not the fact of getting the message down through the employee ranks but more getting the message to permeate up the executive ladder. It no longer is acceptable for the executive ranks to ignore or not take such allegations seriously. Everyone is watching.
In addition, as more allegations move up the executive ladder, employers must ensure that a clear recognition of neutrality of any investigation is paramount to the individuals involved, work environment and organization. Remember, one clear signal of neutrality of the investigation, especially within the executive ranks, is the use of an outside neutral investigator. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.”

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