Nothing is more exciting than bringing to life your own company. When starting a business, you want to make sure you cross all your T’s and dot all the i’s. In addition to a solid business plan, an Employer Identification Number, and an office location, you also need to make sure you have an anti-harassment policy in place. As the boss, you need to establish a positive atmosphere that discourages discrimination and unequal treatment. Unfortunately, NYC lawyers often see how oversights by new business owners can lead to scandals, lawsuits — and ultimately their demise.
If you fail to implement anti-sexual harassment measures, you might end up like a few high-profile startups. A Square executive resigned amid reports of harassment. Playhaven and Sendgrid both terminated employees following an incident. And just last month, GitHub CEO Tom Preston-Werner stepped down after a very public discussion of unusual activity within the company.
You can help prevent harassment on the job with a few simple precautions:

  • Anti-harassment policies. Develop a comprehensive company handbook with specific, solid anti-harassment policies in place.
  • Harassment reporting procedures. If an employee has a complaint, ensure you have a formal complaint process for reporting and documenting claims.
  • Employee training. Hold training sessions which outline which behaviors are acceptable — and which are not.
  • Set an example. Maintain a professional vibe at your place of business. Treat each employee with dignity and respect. Make it clear you do not condone sexual harassment or any type of discrimination.

There are plenty of third-party consulting firms who can assist you in preventing inappropriate workplace behaviors. If a complaint does arise, do everything in your power to end the conduct, and adequately punish the harasser.
Have you been harassed at work?
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment at a new business or startup, don’t take the abuse lying down. You deserve to fight back. Contact one of our sexual harassment attorneys right away. We serve clients in and around New York City.
The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in New York City. For further information, please feel free to call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation or email at