Defending People's Rights and Freedoms

How to Avoid Creating a Hostile Work Environment as an Employer

One of the major responsibilities of a Human Resource Manager is to create a safe, comfortable, and non-hostile work environment for the employees.  As an employer, you must make sure that all your employees are treated equally. Discrimination, harassment, and unequal treatment of employees may constitute a hostile work environment.
The consequences of a hostile work environment include costly litigation, high staff turnover and low productivity. Any of these consequences could cripple a company, leading sometimes to its demise.
If you need help setting up the right policies and procedures, it’s a good idea to consult a New York City business lawyer who can help you create an ideal work environment for your employees. Rather than wait for an embarrassing lawsuit to retainer a lawyer, it is good practice to have an employment lawyer help you avoid the pitfalls.
How an Employer Can Avoid a Hostile Work Environment
To prevent creating a hostile work environment, first, you need to focus on what causes it. When behaviors like discrimination, victimization, violence, and sexual harassment occur in a company, it leads to hostile behavior. If employees are intimated, scared, or offended by the actions or behaviors of co-workers, managers, or clients, it creates a hostile work environment.  Here are some attributes that put employees at risk of harassment:
  • Nationality
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Sexual Orientation
It’s important to have well-documented policies and procedures to enforce anti-discrimination and harassment policies.
Zero Tolerance and Training to Prevent a Hostile Work Environment
As an employer, you can create a safe, welcoming, and employee-friendly environment with a few simple steps, as follows:
  • Zero-tolerance: This is a very effective policy to prevent harassment, inappropriate or discriminatory behavior. An inappropriate comment or joke may offend some people, but not others. Therefore, it’s important to prohibit any behavior, speech, or actions that another employee could find offensive. The team at VMW LAW can help you formulate your policies and procedures and give you advice on how to notify employees of your expectations.
  • Taking actions: When an incident is reported by any employee, Human Resources should handle it very seriously, and resolve the issue before the situation gets worse. That may mean terminating employees that violate the policies and procedures related to creating a hostile work environment.
  • Training your employees: Offering harassment training to your employees daily is very important. Managers need specific, personalized training to help avoid the appearance of discrimination that can lead to a hostile environment. Computer-based training is a great way to track who has completed the training and to conduct quizzes on the materials to ensure learning and retention of these critical policies.
Support Employees Claiming Harassment
If any of your employees report discrimination, it’s important to address their concerns. It’s also a good idea to consult a NYC employment attorney to make sure your company does everything it can to resolve the issue. Hire a New York employment attorney with many years of experience in the field. Moreover, a knowledgeable NYC employment lawyer can guide you on how you can protect employees’ rights in your organization.
Roles of New York Employment Attorneys in Creating a Safe Work Environment
New York employment attorneys help workers get justice if they experience wrongful termination, sexual harassment, unlawful firings, and discrimination based on age, race, gender, or religion. Some employment lawyers help employers to avoid the consequences of a hostile work environment. VMW LAW, a New York-based law firm, provides extraordinary support and has an excellent team of NYC employment lawyers to ensure that you get the best legal services available.
So, partner with a New York City business lawyer who will strive to get you best outcome. When employees feel humiliated, unsupported, and discriminated against, nobody wins. It is time you create an inclusive work culture that discourages discriminatory behavior and inappropriate actions.