Earlier this month, Jeffrey Toobin was fired from the New Yorker after an investigation determined that he exposed himself to colleagues during a Zoom call. This highly publicized termination should serve as a reminder to employers that harassment and sexual harassment still occur despite many offices transitioning the majority of their staff to virtual and remote work. As a side effect of working remotely, harassing and inappropriate communications are likely preserved in various records, including emails, text messages, and instant chats.
As the prospect of returning to the office en masse keeps getting delayed, employers should be mindful of their continuing obligations to maintain effective safeguards against discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Policies and complaint procedures should be evaluated to ensure they are functional for remote workers. Human Resources professionals should be prepared to adequately investigate and address complaints remotely. Employees and supervisors should continue to receive training and education on their respective roles in preventing harassment.
Remember, Employers Council is here to help! From reviewing your current policies and harassment prevention classes in our Online Training Center to offering Investigation Services, we continue to provide the same outstanding service in a virtual environment.