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January 10th, 2018

How to Strengthen Sexual Harassment Policies

With the wave of sexual harassment allegations in workplace environments, multifamily properties should consider ways to strengthen their own resources.

Make Prohibited Behavior Specific
All company policies and training resources need to clearly address specific behaviors and aspects of sexual harassment. Prohibited behavior such as talking about sex with tenants or co-workers is the type of specific language that should be used in order to responsibly strengthen these policies.

Make it Easier to Come Forward
One housing company recently settled after hostile sexual conduct allegations made by several employees. It is likely that this type of environment made it difficult to come forward. Policies need to be in place in order to encourage employees and witnesses to come forward. In addition, these policies should also offer multiple ways to report the behavior and should also specifically prohibit retaliation. Costly settlements can be avoided, especially if property managers take important steps that create a safer environment for their tenants and employees.

When properties settle, several measures are taken afterward. Some of these measures include policy corrections and additional training. Multifamily properties can avoid costly repercussions and proactively take steps to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Strengthening policies and creating an environment that encourages coming forward are some responsibilities property managers should support.

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