“CALGARY (CP) — WestJet has grounded two employees named in a lawsuit filed by a former flight attendant that contends the company failed to take proper action after she alleged she was sexually assaulted on the job”.
West jet is a large company in comparison to many, but that doesn’t mean small and mid-size organizations in any industry could not be dealing with the same issue.
The national media tends to report on the incidents in these larger organizations but what if this happened in your company? Are you prepared to deal with a complaint of harassment or sexual harassment? What would the effect be on your staff or on your reputation and brand? Do you think that local media would pick up on the complaint? How would your customers react?
Let’s face reality, today in light of incidents like WestJet, CBC, Marineland and others there is a high level of awareness on these issues. In fact the government of Ontario is moving to strengthen the existing harassment legislation.
The thing is, it is not all that difficult or expensive to have a policy and processes created and get the necessary training done. Compared to the risk of not having something in place it should be a no brainer.
There are many organizations that will help you get these pieces in place. Look for one that has a good reputation and has done this before. Bill 132 if passed in its current form gives MOL inspectors the ability to order a third party investigation so make sure that they have the proper licensing. In addition you want one that will support you not only while putting the policy and process in place but also in the event that you have a complaint. Here at HRServices we have a licensed investigator on staff that can be called upon for advice and to carry out an investigation if required.
Due to the nature of this type of complaint it is a good idea to have a relationship with a professional already in place before a complaint. If it is the same firm that helps put the program in place then there they are already known to both you and your staff.
Rick Filsinger, CHRP, CHRL, PI.