Recent news pertaining to a former state senator has put the question of sexual harassment front and center in Nevada politics, serving as a valuable reminder for employers who must confront the issue, as well. Recent reports indicate that investigation of now-resigned Sen. Mark Manendo has cost the state between $65,000 and $70,000, according to the Nevada Appeal and Las Vegas Review-Journal. While details were released amid requests by the Legislative Counsel Bureau, further information regarding the nature of the investigation remains confidential.
Accounts of multiple and alleged incidents of misconduct and inappropriate behavior emerged after a law firm was hired to conduct an investigation that included dozens of interviews.
While politicians must of course be held to a high standard of conduct, they are not the only ones. Companies of all shapes and sizes must regularly attend to questions concerning the proper interaction between employees. Establishing the correct policies and procedures in the first place can be especially effective. Additionally, assuring that there are sound mechanisms for addressing problematic circumstances can avoid unwanted costs and hardship down the road. Accordingly, there is no shame in consulting with an attorney in advance or otherwise soliciting the help of a law firm as soon as a situation emerges.
Put simply, sexual harassment is no joke, and employers must be keenly aware of how to handle the topic. Any effective workplace depends upon it.
What to Know About Workplace Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is in part defined by the extent to which it is unwelcome. Insofar as some employees may not pick up on social cues, it is imperative that management get out in front of these situations via establishment of clear guidelines.
According to the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, gender is irrelevant to whether or not sexual harassment is occurring. Victims and perpetrators alike may be male or female. Importantly, the perpetrator may also be an employee of any status, from supervisors to coworkers. Moreover, certain conduct may be considered unlawful harassment regardless of any financial impact that may or may not befall the victim.
For their parts, those subject to such harassment should generally make every reasonable effort to prevent its continuation, ranging from filing a standard complaint to specifically reporting incidents to an employer. Failure to do so may make it more difficult to demonstrate that the conduct was indeed unwanted.
How Sexual Harassment May Impact an Employer
In addition to risking negligence in the event that you do not take sufficient steps to avert conditions in which such conduct might occur, employers must also assure that they treat employees fairly when the issue emerges. The Nevada Employment Fair Practices Act prohibits any discrimination upon the basis of someone’s gender or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment may well be deemed a form of discrimination depending upon the position held by a perpetrator.
Failure to take an incident or related report seriously may subject an employer to additional liability. Should any problematic circumstances emerge, seeking the assistance of an attorney may be your best option.
Find Legal Help Amid Sexual Harassment
HKM Employment Attorneys, LLC is committed to addressing any number of workplace concerns that have any bearing on the law. We represent our clients with commitment and professionalism in order to protect their interests, bringing our years of experience in Nevada law to those affected by harassment in the workplace. In order to set up an appointment, simply fill out our online contact form located here.