Are you safe from sexual harassment charges? You may think you are, but you can never be too careful. For the unseasoned, here are some ground rules to help keep you out of trouble:
- Don't touch your employees without permission, and don't make suggestive comments.
- Don't treat employees as potential dates, and whatever you do, never get involved with someone who works for you.
- Don't demean others, especially in reference to their gender.
- Make sure your company has a written sexual harassment policy and that all employees are familiar with it and know what to do if they're harassed.
- Take all complaints seriously, and launch an immediate investigation. You have to worry about more than just yourself-you have to make sure your employees aren't harassing each other, either. But remember, it's your business, and you set the tone.