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The role of human resources in sexual harassment

As the national conversation around sexual harassment continues, companies looking to avoid expensive settlements or lengthy litigation may want to consider investing in a human resources manager or director.

Human resources professionals are responsible for setting the tone in the workplace as much as top management. They protect company culture and save employers from employee issues by solving problems before they escalate.

Trust and prevention

A good HR department makes employees feel confident that if they bring an issue forward, it will be addressed and handled accordingly. Employees trust that complaints will be taken seriously. And ideally, if the HR department has done an excellent job establishing a workplace culture in tandem with management, it prevents complaints from ever arising.

If your company does not have an HR department, consider investing funds in a new employee who can come in and build trust with your employees. The average salary for an HR professional is about $66,000 in the Houston area; even if this seems like an expensive salary to pay, it is an investment in your company that could save money that would be spent in a settlement down the road.

If you already have an HR professional at your company, discuss preventative measures the business can take to address harassment problems early. This may be an opportune time to re-review sexual harassment training or implement a training program. Especially since women see workplace discrimination in many forms, which some male employees may not realize or be aware of, a refresh is always a good idea.

Human resources managers and directors who are skilled at their job and aware of how to address problems properly can benefit employers and employees if there are sexual harassment issues in the workplace.

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