• Marc Kroop

Preventing Sexual Harassment and Discrimination In The Workplace

Prevention of sexual harassment starts with a proper and compliant anti-sexual harassment policy that is provided to the company's employees at the outset of their employment. However, having a compliant sexual harassment policy is only a first step of several that is required to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. An employer's sexual harassment policy must be continually enforced and then reinforced by the employer.

Best practices dictate that the employer take the time to discuss the employer's anti-sexual harassment policy with the employee, at the time of hire. The employer should request that the employee read the policy, ask any questions the employee has about the policy and then sign and date the policy. A copy of the employee's acknowledgement of the sexual harassment policy must be maintained in the employee's personnel file.

A proper sexual harassment policy informs an employee about the employee's obligation to report any instances of harassment or abuse that is either directed at the employee or at any other employee. A specific person(s) to whom the employee may report incidents of harassment should be identified as part of the policy. An effective anti-harassment policy must also provide information to the employee about their right to make a complaint of sexual harassment to an outside agency for investigation (California Department of Fair Employment & Housing or federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Information about how an employee may contact these agencies must be included in the policy.

The company's anti-harassment policy needs to provide employees with specific examples of inappropriate sexual harassment. A proper sexual harassment policy also informs employees that the employer will investigate claims of harassment and that the company will take all necessary steps to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

Often, employees are concerned about whether their complaint of sexual harassment can be kept "confidential." An employee may make a request for confidentiality for their complaint because they are concerned about retaliation by the person against whom the complaint being made or even by other employees or managers in the company that appear to be on board with the offensive behavior of the harasser. Those employee concerns should be addressed in the company's sexual harassment policy as well. The company's sexual harassment policy should assure its employees that while it may be impossible to maintain confidentiality in investigating a sexual harassment complaint, the company will not tolerate any retaliation against the employee for having made such a complaint. Further, if the employee believes that they are being retaliated against due to their complaint, the employee should immediately contact and inform the person(s) designated by the company to investigate their concerns.

Significantly, the employer cannot request that an employee making a complaint of sexual harassment keep their complaint of sexual harassment confidential. Employees have the legal right to openly discuss their work conditions with other employees.

When investigating complaints of sexual harassment, an employer should maintain an appropriate investigation file. This file should include copies of all documents reviewed, notes of witness interviews, copies of witness statements and any conclusions the investigator has made about the investigation.

Significantly, the employee should be informed about the results of the employer's investigation and whether or not the company was able to verify the employee's complaint(s). If it is determined that harassment occurred, the employee should be informed about the steps taken by the company to prevent any future acts of sexual harassment. Appropriate actions to prevent harassment include a verbal or written warning, last chance agreement, separation of the victim and harasser, or, suspension or termination of the harasser.

The most important point, that cannot receive enough emphasis, is that employers must take extreme care in meting out disciplinary action against an employee determined to have engaged in acts of sexual harassment. Ineffective disciplinary action taken by the employer that does not permanently end harassing behavior, is grounds for liability for the employer in a lawsuit.

Regular follow up with the employee who made the complaint should be ongoing for a lengthy period of time to ensure that no additional acts of harassment have occurred. We have been a part of cases where even termination of the offending employee did not stop the harassment. Other employees that were sympathetic and friendly to the harasser took up where the harasser left off, after the harasser's termination. In these cases, ongoing discussions by the employer and employee for a lengthy period of time are part of the process.

As an aside, even if the employer's investigation results in a finding that no sexual harassment occurred, the employer should still take steps to reinforce its policies in writing and also in an in-person meeting with the complaining employee to confirm its findings and reiterate its policy against harassment and retaliation.

Since 1993, Kroop Labor Law's managing attorney, Marc G. Kroop, has been a leading advocate for employee rights in California. Mr. Kroop's has had significant success in representing victims of harassment and discrimination in the Bay Area. Mr. Kroop also teaches classes on sexual harassment prevention for supervisors and managers. Mr. Kroop instructs supervisors and managers on how to properly identify and classify claims of sexual harassment. Mr. Kroop then provides instruction on proper investigation techniques and how to determine of appropriate measures that employers must take to prevent ongoing harassment in the workplace. If you have issues or concerns related to sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace, you may contact Mr. Kroop directly at (925) 989-8264 Otherwise send us an email to info@krooplaborlaw.com and we will provide you with an immediate written response to your concerns.

4 views0 comments

kroop labor law

Copyright Kroop Labor Law 2018


This privacy policy constitutes the privacy practices for krooplaborlaw.com. This privacy policy applies only to information submitted to this website and includes the following information:
1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the website, how it is used and with whom it may be shared.
2. What choices are available to you regarding the use of your data.
3. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily provide us by email or our contact form. We will not voluntarily sell, rent or otherwise provide this information to anyone outside of our office.
We will only use information provided by you to respond to you and or set up a free initial case consultation. We will not voluntarily share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to fulfill your request for us to contact you. 

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about our services or changes to this privacy policy.

Your Access to and Control Over Information 

You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

See what data we have about you, if any.
Change/correct any data we have about you.
Have us delete any data we have about you.
Express any concern you have about our use of your data.


We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via telephone at (925) 989-8264 or via email info@krooplaborlaw.com.


Informational Purposes - This web site and the content have been prepared by Kroop Labor Law for informational purposes only and in no way constitutes legal advice. Kroop Labor Law designed this web site to provide general helpful information about California and Federal law to members of the public in need of an attorney licensed to practice in the State of California.

No Attorney Client Relationship - The use of this web site, and the sending or receipt of information does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Kroop Labor Law.  Any agreement to represent you must be in writing and include the material terms of our representation.

Confidentiality - Communication with Kroop Labor Law through this web site is both privileged or confidential as are any future contacts with our firm.

Advertisement/Marketing - This web site is a California Electronic Media Advertisement. This website is not an advertisement or solicitation for business outside the state of California. Our practice solely limited to California and federal cases. We will not undertake the representation of any person who resides in a state where this web site fails to comply with state or local rules for marketing or advertising material.

Links - Any link from this web site to the web site of a private, governmental, educational, or other non-profit entity's web page is for informational purposes only.  Such link is provided for your convenience and is not meant to state or imply the existence of a relationship between Kroop Labor Law and that entity.

Seek Legal Counsel -  You should not act on your own upon any information contained on this web site or any other web site without first seeking the assistance of qualified legal counsel who can assist you with your legal matter.