#MeToo: Preventing Workplace Harassment and EPL Claims

By now, you most likely have seen the hashtag ‘#MeToo’ used on social media to denounce sexual assault and harassment. The movement began in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against US film producer and executive Harvey Weinstein.

This movement highlights the importance of professional ethics and employment practices liability (EPL) for employers as well as directors and officers. EPL is essential for your organisation, as it provides legal defence costs when employers are sued for discrimination and harassment. To ensure that your organisation does not have to rely solely on EPL, you should take steps to prevent such conduct, which could include the following:

  • Provide training for all employees—from directors and officers all the way down to your interns—on appropriate behaviour at work, which should include what is considered discrimination and harassment. In addition, explain how employees can raise an issue if they experience discrimination, harassment or a sexual assault.
  • Develop an equal opportunities policy along with an antiharassment
    and bullying policy, and review them annually.