Businesses face many risks these days, including ones you wouldn’t have had a second thought about a few years ago. Accusations of sexual abuse and molestation are one such risk businesses now have to think about protecting against.
The best approach when it comes to this business risk is not to wait for something to happen, but to take proactive steps to minimize inappropriate behavior at your business and the risk of accusations and lawsuits. Every business can take a few simple steps that will go a long ways toward protecting yourself.
Proactive Steps to Protect Your Business
Accusations of sexual abuse or molestation are the last thing you want to experience as a business owner. Thankfully, there are a number of proactive steps you can take to protect your employees and business.
- Draft a statement of nontolerance. Creating a written document addressing the issue is the best first step to take as a business. Let employees and other stakeholders know that your business does not tolerate any form of sexual abuse or misconduct.
- Screen job candidates. Effective employment screening can go a long ways toward minimizing your risk of an accusation. Ensure all potential employees undergo a comprehensive background check before being allowed to work.
- Train employees on conduct. Most employees respond positively to educational training about what behavior is and is not acceptable on the job. Require employees to receive training on what constitutes abuse and molestation and how to respond to an instance of abuse.
- Provide prevention materials. A focus on prevention is the best course of action when it comes to sexual misconduct. Provide materials that detail the ways occurrences of misconduct can be reduced and review your documentation annually.
- Learn about identifying abuse. Inappropriate conduct isn’t always reported as soon as it happens. Reduce the risk that abusive conduct goes undetected by monitoring events, patterns and trends that can indicate abuse is happening.
- Set up reporting procedures. It’s important to take all allegations seriously. Create a process for collecting reports and ensure that anyone who submits a report alleging sexual abuse does not experience retaliation for making the report.
- Investigate reports thoroughly. It’s important to promptly and thoroughly investigate whether sexual misconduct alleged in a report has taken place. Report the incident to the police and cooperate with law enforcement during any investigation.
- Protect victims of misconduct. Accusations can be alleged not only over what has occurred but how you handle it. Protect victims from harm during the investigation. Remove any alleged perpetrator pending the outcome of the investigation.
- Respond appropriately. How your organization handles an incident of misconduct is important. Analyze the situation and determine what changes to policies or procedures are needed that could prevent similar future incidents.
- Review your procedures regularly. Changes to your business can impact how effective your preventative measures are. Make sure to review policies and procedures internally and with employees at least annually and make adjustments where necessary.
Sexual Abuse and Molestation Insurance to Protect Your Business
Individuals can make many kinds of claims of inappropriate behavior or misconduct against your employees. Even if such a claim turns out to be baseless, it can do a lot of damage to your business as you work to protect your business, other employees, clients and reputation.
Sexual Abuse and Molestation Insurance from the Wellbiz Insurance Program is one solution that can help you reduce the risk to your business and protect employees and clients.
Insurance helps protect your investment and safeguard your studio from the risks you face. Lockton Affinity’s Wellbiz Insurance program has coverage available tailored to the needs of businesses like yours. Call (866) 597-1346 or visit us online to see what coverage will look like for your studio.