We recently discussed the workplace discrimination allegations made by Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin. Regardless of the outcome, the NFL player’s case is notable because it demonstrates that harassment can potentially occur in any work setting. In 1999, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received over 14,000 harassment claims, and the number of filings has steadily increased in each subsequent year.
For those employers without a policy or workplace harassment prevention program, now is an opportune time to start. Indeed, December is the month for workplace holiday parties, which unfortunately can also invite potentially inappropriate or even unlawful coworker conduct.