The use of hotlines as an adjunct to workplace harassment policy
By Howard Kurman, Offit Kurman
Today, most employers include detailed workplace harassment and discrimination complaint procedures in their employee handbooks. These procedures often provide that employees who have witnessed or experienced workplace harassment or discriminatory acts can use the stated procedure to invoke the employer’s investigatory and remedial assistance where applicable.
Often overlooked, but sometimes extremely valuable, are employee hotlines that can be established and maintained by companies as a means of providing an additional avenue for employees to register complaints of workplace harassment and discrimination, even if such complaints are filed anonymously by an employee.
These hotlines can be an inexpensive and useful tool for both employees and employers. From an employee’s perspective, a hotline may provide an outlet to voice troublesome observations about goings-on in the workplace. From an employer’s perspective, hotlines may provide useful information that might not otherwise have surfaced if an employee were required to personally come forward.
Finally, providing an accessible hotline can be of use to an employer who, in defending a charge of harassment or discrimination, may point to the availability of such a communication outlet as an effective and proactive method of supplementing its workplace harassment and discrimination complaint procedures.
Howard KurmanOffit Kurman, Washington, DC, USA
T: +1 410 209 6417
Offit Kurman is a dynamic full-service law firm. As trusted legal advisors, they help clients to maximise and protect their business value and individual wealth. They strive to maintain clients’ trust in every interaction, furthering their objectives and helping them to achieve their goals in an efficient manner.
Howard Kurman regularly counsels clients on all aspects of employment issues. Howard ensures that his clients promote and maintain the most effective employment policies that will minimise their legal exposure in today’s litigious workplace. As a skilled litigator, he has also successfully represented employers in a myriad of administrative, judicial and commercial litigations before the NLRB, EEOC, federal and state courts as well as other administrative agencies such as the Department of Labour and OFCCP.
Published: Spring 2017 l Photo: Colourbox.de