The United States Supreme Court has recently set new limitations on workplace harassment and retaliation claims. But even with new parameters in place, employers shouldn’t assume they are safe and that a claim can’t be made against them for harassment or retaliation.
All employers should have a solid risk management plan in place that includes a code of conduct and anti-harassment policies. It also helps if employers are aware of the most common types of workplace harassment cases in order to create a work environment that doesn’t tolerate such behavior. Here are the most common types of harassment cases to occur in the workplace.
– No matter what age he/she is, if an employee feels he/she is being addressed in a derogatory way, it can be deemed age harassment.
– Comments or jokes that are steeped in stereotypical language can result in an ethnic/racial harassment case. As Samantha Gluck of the Small Business Chronicle says, “Even commentary or jokes that seem to place the race or ethnicity in a positive light might count as offensive and, therefore, harassing.”
– Gender harassment can, for example, be claimed when a man is hired over a female who is just as qualified. Comments that belittle a co-worker of the opposite sex or subject their ability to do their job based on their gender are other situations that commonly lead to a gender harassment case.
– Religious harassment often comes in the form of a joke or other demeaning behavior toward someone because of their religious beliefs and practices. Attempting to force an employee “to participate or not participate in religious activities constitutes religious harassment,” as well.
– Sexual harassment is the most common type of workplace harassment and is often the most costly for employers to settle. This kind of workplace harassment comes in many forms, ranging from jokes or comments that are suggestive in nature and unwanted advances to pictures or screensavers that can be considered suggestive.
In addition to being aware of the common types of workplace harassment, it’s also crucial to back your organization with the right types of insurance, like an employment practices liability policy. This form of insurance specifically covers costs that are incurred in an employee-related lawsuit filed for issues like harassment.
Lamb Financial Group offers risk management and insurance services and can help you find the right form of insurance to protect your organization in the event of a harassment claim. Contact us at 1-866-481-5262 for more information today.