Eye-popping allegations of decades of sexual harassment and abuse by Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein sent shockwaves through the country. Employers from a cross-section of industries are asking themselves if they’re next.
The health-care industry is no exception. With over 12 million employees, sexual harassment and abusive behavior claims are almost inevitable. Attorneys who counsel health-care providers, however, told me careful planning by hospitals and health-care facilities can help avoid, or at least mitigate the effect of, such claims.
Most providers already have solid policies in place to address untoward workplace behavior, but it’s always a good idea for a governing board to review the policies and ensure they’re being applied appropriately, the attorneys told me. The development, acceptance, and across-the-board application of these policies should start in the executive suite, they said.
Three leading health-care attorneys—BakerHostetler’s Mark Kadzielski, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC’s Katherine Dudley Helms, and Hinckley Allen partner Anne Murphy—discussed with me how hospitals should handle sexual harassment before, during, and after a claim has been filed.
Strategic communications adviser David Jarrard, of Jarrard, Phillips, Cate & Hancock, added his advice on how hospitals can get out ahead of potential claims and address adverse publicity once allegations come to light.
Their timely and insightful advice is, I think, a must read!
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