Author: Sahara Pynes, HR Solutions Group/Training Mavens

Harassment, whether based on sex or any other protected characteristic, is one of the leading claims against employers both in court and at an administrative level. While litigating a harassment claim becomes a fact-specific analysis, courts have developed many safeguards in the form of defenses for an employer to use when defending a legal claim of workplace harassment. Employer inactivity as it relates to harassment is most detrimental to its defense of a claim and its ability to prevent or defeat a claim. By educating staff and implementing a few basic policies, procedures and trainings, an employer has already protected itself immensely from harassment claims. The cost to employers of litigating such claims far surpasses the cost and efforts of taking preventative action. Accordingly, prudent employers should adopt the following actions aimed at preventing harassment claims or setting up a defense should a claim arise.