It seems that harassment is always on the forefront for your human resources department. With social media, texting, and other electronic media, “cyberstalking” is an issue that needs to be addressed by every company.
In an article from Business2Community, they say to watch for three things:
- Sexting: Unwanted sexually graphic pictures sent from mobile devices (smartphones or tablets) to employees.
- Textual Harassment: Sending sexually explicit, intimidating or harassing texts via mobile devices.
- Virtual Harassment: Sending harassing messages through social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
These forms of harassment are pretty straight forward, and should be handled per your company policies.
The harder part of cyber-harassment comes from cyberstalking. That is, following people on their social network sites, or through other people’s sites. You have to be careful in handling this type of harassment, as while being followed in a social site may be creepy for some, it might be fine for someone else. The law says you have to investigate when an employee FEELS threatened. So, you need to use common sense, as well as these guidelines laid out by Business2Community:
- Have a clear social media policy that clearly defines actions that create a hostile work environment and penalties for failure to maintain a healthy workplace. Be sure employees understand this policy applies outside of the workplace
- Make sure employees, especially supervisory employees understand the social media policy you established
- Clearly define actions for supervisors who hear reports of harassment.
- Take all reports of cyberstalking and other electronic harassment seriously. Remember, the law doesn’t require that you agree the actions create a hostile work environment.
- Ensure fair and equitable application of censures allowed under your social media policy.
- Periodically review your social media policy to ensure it meets current legal standards.
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