Allegations can arise between workers, not just against your company

On Behalf of | Nov 9, 2020 | Employment Law |

As with any business across the United States, California employers must carefully manage their workers – not only in productivity, but also behavior. It’s natural for a company to protect its best interests through established policies. Meanwhile, meeting the legal requirements established to protect employees is mandatory.

Regardless of a well-written employee handbook, you will inevitably have to mitigate concerns among disagreeable employees. So how can you best prepare to resolve employee disputes?

Training requirements for 2021: workplace harassment

Although it is imperative to guard your business reputation and provide a harassment-free workplace, you cannot ultimately control how your employees interact with each other. As such, you should do everything within your power to equip them to be accountable for their actions.

Despite minimum sexual harassment training regulations established in 2018, many employers struggled to meet requirements due to pandemic-response efforts. Employers must now comply by January 1, 2021.

If you have five or more employees, state law requires you to provide at least one hour of training to all employees; two hours for those in supervisory positions. Permanent new hires must receive training within six months of their start date.

Your bi-annual education should also focus on preventing workplace discrimination, retaliation and abuse. Modules ought to include instruction related to:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender expression
  • Gender identity

If one employee doesn’t act accordingly, thereby creating a hostile work environment for others, it may be best to let them go. However, regardless of his or her actions, that step could open the door for a retaliation or wrongful termination lawsuit.

Are you wrong to let an employee go?

Since California is an “at-will” employment state, you could separate a troublesome worker from your employ at any point. However, exercise caution when deciding to fire someone.

While an attorney can provide guidance specific to your situation, be sure to complete your requirements. To justify your decision, document:

  • The fulfillment of your legal obligations
  • Each employee’s training
  • Internal misconduct complaints
  • Remediation efforts

Nobody wants to report for work when there’s contention among the ranks. Yet, disagreements and personality clashes are a part of management.

In addition to providing required training, consider how you can include your employees in developing a company culture where all feel appreciated and, perhaps even more importantly, welcome.

Regardless of your industry, you get to determine your workers’ daily experience. And although human resources may not be your primary focus, success often rests on the satisfaction of those you employ.



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