Tips to Protect Your Business From Increased Sexual Harassment And Cyber Security Claims

Tips to Protect Your Business From Increased Sexual Harassment And Cyber Security Claim…

Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash.

Employment-related risks can represent the most damaging exposure to a franchiser. Claims involving sexual harassment, wrongful termination or discrimination, from a current or former employee can potentially cause irreparable damage to a franchise brand and reputation resulting in significant financial cost. Franchises Need To Protect Themselves From Increased Sexual Harassment And Cyber Security Claims

Tips to Protect Your Business From Increased Sexual Harassment And Cyber Security Claims

With Permission
By Ed Teixeira
FMM Contributor

Sexual Harassment – Social Issue Concept

After hitting a two-decade low in 2017, sexual harassment complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission increased by more than 12 percent from last year. The federal agency has also been aggressive with litigation this year, filing 41 sexual harassment lawsuits so far, up from 33 in 2017. At the same time, cyber-crimes which involve the theft of personal information has cost some companies millions of dollars in damages to its reputation and from monetary claims.

Employer Liability Claims Increase

Over the course of this year, stories of sexual harassment have dominated the headlines. In what USA Today dubbed the “Weinstein Effect,” various sized companies have witnessed employees take part in the #Me To movement. This increased focus on sexual harassment has created a surge in protests, discrimination lawsuits, and government investigations, with almost no industry being immune, including a recent demonstration against McDonald’s franchise locations. Regardless of whether a sexual harassment allegation has merit, these claims can cause a company significant damage to its brand and sales. Seven in 10 human resource professionals said they believe sexual harassment complaints at their workplaces will likely be “higher” or “much higher” in 2018 compared to previous years.

A poll by the Human Resource Certification Institute found that “63 percent of HR professionals said that acts of sexual harassment “occasionally” or “sometimes” occur in their workplaces and 30 percent said that such acts “frequently” occur. Only seven percent said that such acts “almost never” or “never” occur.” The trend toward more sexual harassment lawsuits appears to continue as the EEOC increases efforts to crack down on sexual harassment. The EEOC has launched online access for employees to file harassment charges from their homes, with the EEOC.

Employment-related risks can represent the most damaging exposure to a franchiser. Claims involving sexual harassment, wrongful termination or discrimination, from a current or former employee can potentially cause irreparable damage to a franchise brand and reputation resulting in significant financial cost.

To gain more insight into employer liability and especially sexual harassment claims I spoke with Peter R. Taffae, MLIS, CFE and Managing Director Executive Perils, Inc. In 2014 they introduced a management liability policy, FranchisorSuite®, designed for the unique needs of Franchisors.

Q. How extensive are employer liability claims?

A. Companies of all sizes and industries have been affected by a surge in employment-related litigation and rising legal damage awards.

Q. What can be done to mitigate those risks?

A. Be sure that franchisers, franchisees and their employees are properly trained to understand the risks of sexual harassment, unlawful terminations, and discrimination claims. Have the proper procedures and protocols in place and have financial protection.

Q.What does the future hold for sexual harassment claims?

A. The threshold has been raised for what is appropriate in the workplace. This means that the expectation for proper employment practices is higher. Some experts believe that it will take 10 to 15 years to reverse the trend as current middle age retirees are replaced by today’s younger generation.

Q. Any other threats that franchises face?

A. One area related to the franchise industry that doesn’t receive a lot of coverage is cybersecurity. Every state has primary notification laws, which that when there is a breach of a customer’s personal data, the company or franchiser must notify every customer. In addition, there is no statute of limitations regarding these crimes. For example, if I purchased a meal at a franchise location 10 years ago and their system was hacked, and my personal information was stolen, that franchise is liable.

Franchise restaurants process so many credit cards and have the extensive point-of-sale equipment, that they are vulnerable to data theft. Websites, Wi-Fi and digital kiosks represent additional threats. Any franchise which does any of the following is at risk for a cyber-attack; Accepts credit cards, handles or views private information of employees or customers electronically, has Wi-Fi or conducts a portion of their business online.

It’s important that each component of the franchise industry be prepared to protect themselves from the threat of employer liability and cybersecurity claims.

How Critical is Harassment Prevention Training?

Take this topic seriously regardless of how small or large your business is. The financial risk and exposure to the community and the customers and clients you serve can be destroyed overnight if you fail to manage your employment practices effectively.

From the SymbianceHR Newsletter.
Your Challenges. Our Solutions. A Successful

If you have watched or heard any of the attest news highlights in recent weeks, the topic of sexual harassment is popping up all over the country and across industries. Increased education and awareness of the behaviors and conduct that lead to violations of employee’s rights in the workplace have and will continue to lead to an increase in complaints and litigation. Ignorance in this arena is not bliss, and your failure as a manager, supervisor or business owner in what your obligations are to protect your workforce will not excuse you in court.

You must take proactive steps to educate your leadership on the laws and regulations they must adhere to and follow to protect…..

Read the entire article here:

For more information on this topic please call or visit: SymbianceHR | 888-343-7340 | [email protected] |

How to Convince Your Employees About Change?

The fear of security and removal from comfort zone is so strong that the humungous benefits of an outstanding technology dwarfs in comparison. Organizations struggle to manage the employee discontent in the initial few months of such huge changes.

How to Convince Your Employees About Change?

This article is written and owned by: Shilpa M

The torchbearer of change seldom has followers. If you are striving to bring about change in your business, then perhaps, it is a lone battle that you might be waging. Change is often perceived with suspicion and fear by people all over the world. A strong resistance to it is global and transcends every border and race. So, your organization is not an exception.

There are fundamental reasons why change is slang for many. Most of us perceive change as:
• No security
• No comfort zone
• More Hard-work
• Question mark over their competencies and capabilities
• Inefficient /unable to solve their problems (without trying)
• Last but not the least, unnecessary
It is amazing that in this ever-changing world, change is still a matter of great concern for many.
Your business would, however, benefit immensely from it. If you are wondering why your employees’ productivity has dropped irrespective of providing all benefits, then it is the fact that your employees have slipped in to the comfort zone that brings about only lethargy and boredom, eventually slowing down the best. Change becomes essential in such cases.

Change brings with it refreshing ideas and habits that lot of us fail to realize when opposing. A superb case in point would be the resistance of employees to world-class technology implementation as against using legacy technology. However, as and when time passes by and the new technology starts getting older, the response is much better. In other words, as and when people start getting used to it and fall back in to the comfort zone, the acceptance gets easier.
Again, induced changes are an affirmation to the employee’s belief that things are not right. At least that is what most of us think. A common refrain is one does not bring about a change without things being bad. Therefore, a change in your business would almost always be perceived as a negative impression on your employees. An exception would be cases when things are really bad and no change can make it worse.

This is where communication plays a large role and a change management professional would help you do it. Change management in businesses is, therefore, a competency that should be built in. Change management makes the transition easier for the organization, both for the management and the employees.
Since every change is fraught with opposition, it should come as no surprise to you as a business owner that your best plans are thrown away by your unwilling employees. Nevertheless, the window of opportunity to win their trust is wide too. Getting them to be part of the process of change is an excellent way to lay off their fear and sense of insecurity. It is also an efficient way to proofread your blueprint of change for the organization from your experienced employees.

An involved and informed employee is a more willing supporter and becomes your ambassador for change!

Author: Shilpa M
About the author or the publisher
I am Shilpa, a freelance writer who enjoys writing articles, blogs and fiction. I specialize in romance, relationships and fantasy fiction is my first love! My writing reflects the passion for words and dedication that has helped me delight and retain my customers! My greatest motivation is the fact that my words spell success for my customers!

Article Source:

Five Employee Issues That Lead to Chaos In The Workplace

By: Dianne Shaddock

Managing employees can be a wonderful experience when you have employees who understand the importance of being team players, who follow through on assignments, and who maintain a level of professionalism in the workplace.

I would argue that most employees understand these unspoken rules within the workplace. Most employees are interested in growing their careers, contributing to the company, getting along with their co-workers, and doing a good job. But from time to time, you may be faced with an employee who is not aware, (or doesn’t care), when their behavior or actions crosses a line.

As a manager, here are some things that you may want to keep in the forefront of your mind and address with your staff should these issues occur:

The Attitude Problem: Do you have an employee in your workplace who is so negative that it affects the morale of your other employees? Negativity from a co-worker can not only cause turmoil, affect productivity, and create job dissatisfaction for your other employees, it could result in your losing your best staff. Always speak with any employee who is being inappropriately combative, cynical or dismissive. Try to find out what their underlying issues are and whether their outbursts have anything to do with their job dissatisfaction. Sometimes making your employee aware of the behavior and how it affects others will help to resolve the issue.

The Office Romance: We spend most of our time in the office, so it’s natural that an occasional office romance may blossom. It’s actually quite common in fact. Unfortunately, a line is sometimes crossed when the relationship is between a supervisor and his or her employee, or between two co-workers within the same department or division.

Supervisor and employee romances are fraught with legal issues too numerous to touch on in this article. They should be avoided at all costs. Co-worker romances, which may seem harmless, could backfire if the relationship ends and the co-workers are still working on projects together or sit in close proximity to each other.

Productivity and staff morale can go out the window in these cases. Although you can’t mandate that your employees not be involved with their co-workers, you can certainly be sure to make your standards of professionalism clear to all of your employees. You’ll also want to immediately address any instances where it appears that your co-workers’ relationships are spilling over into the office. Kissing, hand holding, and romantic talk should not be allowed as it not only makes other employees uncomfortable, but it is unprofessional in a business setting.

Inappropriate Comments: How often have you heard an off color or downright offensive joke in the workplace, or a comment that clearly crosses the line? You want to foster a workplace culture that is inclusive and free from harassment. Don’t allow your staff to make statements that are offensive or inappropriate in any way. Address comments that you hear immediately and be sure to follow up on concerns that your employees may bring to your attention.

Unprofessional Dress: Managers oftentimes assume that there is no need to discuss a specific dress code when hiring new staff because they believe that their employees should understand what is considered appropriate dress or not.

Conversely, you may have an employee that believes that they are dressing appropriately because they assume that if they were not, that you would have told them so. If your expectation is that for business reasons, employees can’t wear sneakers to work, shorts, or open toed shoes, tell them so and explain your rationale behind the decision. You’ll need to make sure that your dress policy is consistently applied with all staff, (and always put it in writing).

The Untrustworthy/Unreliable Employee: Stealing from workplace, creating conflict with other employees, coming in late, (or not at all), are all signs of an employee who can’t be trusted. As a manager, you must address these issues immediately and determine whether further management counseling, a suspension or termination is in order.

Addressing workplace issues when they occur, and clearly communicating and managing expectations is the key to ensuring that the workplace is one that is productive, professional, and even fun.

Article Source:

Dianne Shaddock is the Founder of Easy Small Business, a website which provides “Quick and Simple Human Resources Strategies for Small Businesses, Non profits, and Entrepreneurs”. Go to for more tips on how to hire and manage your staff more effectively.