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HR Professionals Can Ensure Discrimination, Harassment Have No Place In The Workplace
(RIVERWOODS, ILL., September 26, 2001) Employers and
HR professionals can take steps to ensure that the events that shocked
the nation two weeks ago dont do further damage to safe and
respectful workplaces nationwide, according to CCH INCORPORATED
(CCH), a leading provider of human resources and employment law information.
In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, EEOC Commissioner
Cari M. Dominguez called on all of the countrys employers to
be alert to instances of harassment or intimidation against Arab-American
and Muslim employees. "Preventing and prohibiting injustices
against our fellow workers is one way to fight back, if only symbolically,
against the evil forces that assaulted our workplaces," she said.
"Our laws reaffirm our national values of tolerance and civilized
conduct. At this time of trial, these values will strengthen us as
a common people."
To help ensure a bias-free workplace, CCH says employers should take
the following steps:
HR Checklist: Auditing Your Anti-harassment Policy
- Have a policy in place that clearly defines acceptable workplace
- Communicate that policy effectively throughout the workplace,
using workplace communication channels from posting to face-to-face
- Train, at least annually, both employees and management and monitor
the results of that training to confirm their understanding.
- Maintain records of that training
- Make sure that your complaint procedures are designed to encourage
people to come forward, and provide many avenues for seeking relief.
- Ensure that your actions reinforce what is stated in your policy.
- Make sure that every complaint is taken seriously, reported appropriately,
and investigated aggressively.
- If harassment is found, take immediate action to remedy it.
- Follow up to make sure that the behavior does not continue.
- Ensure that employees understand that retaliation will not be
tolerated, and that employees are protected against it.
"If youre serious about ensuring a bias-free workplace,
its important for employers to follow each and every one of
these steps," according to Lori Rosen, JD. Keys to success, however,
are communication and training, notes Rosen.
"It is absolutely critical to ensure that your employees have
a common understanding of what harassment and discrimination look
like, as well as the policies you have in place to protect against
those behaviors," said Rosen.
"Employees need to be able to recognize what discriminatory
and harassing behaviors are, so that they can be avoided at best,
or reported and addressed if they are occurring."
Rosen, an attorney and workplace analyst for CCH, is a contributor
to CCH Shared Learning Discrimination and Harassment Prevention
About CCH INCORPORATED
CCH INCORPORATED is a leading provider of employment law information
and software for human resource professionals, including Human
Resources Management and Shared Learning training. The
Shared Learning series from CCH provides enterprise-wide interactive
web-based training programs for employees and supervisors.
CCH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer North America.
The CCH web site can be accessed at www.cch.com.
The CCH Human Resources Group web site can be accessed at
http://hr.cch.com. For more information about CCH INCORPORATEDs
e-learning series, Shared Learning, visit www.elearning.cch.com.
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