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What Employers Do To Help With Workplace Harassment

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By Alexa Tieu

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Bullying in schools has been a huge problem in recent years, but does it stop in school?

"We hear about bullying in schools and we know it has to carry on into the workplace too," said Jan Roeser from the Idaho Department of Labor.

Harassment is possible in any environment, especially in the workplace.

Doug Maughan, the public affairs officer for the College of Southern Idaho says, "Workplace harassment can take many forms. It can take the form of sexual harassment. It can be in the form of people who are insensitive to gender or religion."

Harassment is, by definition, the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted actions of one party toward another, including threats and demands.

Many employers see any form of bullying as a serious issue.

"We're pretty serious about harassment here at CSI. We don't tolerate it and we do have policies that monitor and prevent harassment,” said Maughan.

Dan Olmstead from Idaho Power says, "We have a very aggressive workplace policy in place and we have for years."

Because there is no labor board in Idaho, all guidelines in regard to harassment in the workplace are determined by individual employers.

β€œIn our handbook, we have the exact procedures. So the important part of it is that we periodically do training with our employees,” said Allen Starley from Starley-Leavitt Insurance.

Olmstead says, "They take training courses, not only for our new employees but me, as the veteran that I am. I take a respectful workplace course, mandatory every two years."

Idaho Power even offers a hotline for its employees.

"If an employee is feeling threatened or not respected in the workplace, they have that employee hotline available 24 hours a day,” said Olmstead.

And employers know a respectful environment leads to great results.

The Idaho Department of Labor says if you're having problems at work, you can file a complaint against the employer with the Department and/or the Idaho Human Rights Commission if you believe the problems are due to discrimination.

You may also file a civil suit against your former employer if you'd like to pursue the matter.


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