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News & Press: General Announcement

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Saturday, June 30, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: The Doctors Company
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Content Contributed by the Doctors Company
Richard Cahill, JD, vice president and associate general counsel

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Adopt and Enforce Zero Tolerance

Given the risks, heightened awareness, and increased scrutiny, healthcare practitioners and facilities are strongly encouraged to develop and consistently enforce a zero-tolerance policy. Protocols must be written, periodically reviewed, and updated as necessary, detailing:

  • The types of conduct that will not be tolerated, regardless of the identity of the alleged perpetrator.
  • A clear methodology for reporting claimed instances of wrongdoing.
  • The process to be followed in investigating complaints, and rules that should be observed to help insure that confidentiality and due process are appropriately protected.
  • Documentation to be completed and maintained.
  • The range of sanctions, up to and including termination, for both employees and patients, should the allegations ultimately be determined to be true.

Staff should receive proper training as part of the on-boarding process of each new employee and on a regular basis thereafter. Offices should develop and retain attendance sign-in sheets of such training in the regular course of business to demonstrate, in the event of a subsequent problem, the good faith and due diligence as continuing efforts of the clinic, provider or facility to comply with federal and state requirements.

It is recommended that healthcare facilities, clinics and other professional offices institute a process of publishing their zero-tolerance policy towards harassment. This can be achieved in employee on-boarding documentation, professional employment contracts, conditions of treatment or admission, third-party vendor agreements, website notices, and even office signage.

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