5 Takeaways from the “Professionalism in the Workplace” Rise & Learn Session

Oct 26, 2021

Thank you to all of the attendees who joined Thomas E. Green and Michael P. Karst on Thursday, October 14 for our Rise & Learn Workplace Workshop regarding Professionalism in the Workplace: Update on Harassment, Bullying and Social Media Conduct. In case you’d like to refresh your memory, or you couldn’t join us, we’ve prepared a summary of five main takeaways from the presentation. Please feel free to pass this along to any colleagues who may be interested.

Here are the five main takeaways:

  1. Unlawful harassment includes unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex or another legally protected class that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

  2. Employers can reduce harassment, and an equally disruptive form of misconduct, bullying, by creating a positive and professional work environment where there is an open line of communication between employees and management.

  3. Well-written and well-implemented policies on workplace harassment and bullying, and related topics such as workplace violence, and workplace computer, email, and phone use can help management effectively set expectations and address complaints of unlawful harassment and other workplace misconduct.

  4. According to the National Labor Relations Act, non-supervisory employees are permitted to take action with other employees for their mutual benefit related to wages, hours, and working conditions. This “concerted activity” may take a variety of forms, including discussions about wages, and social media posts.

  5. Supervisors and managers should make efforts to connect with employees—just not on social media. When managers “friend” the employees they supervise, it can easily create a “big brother is always watching” atmosphere. It also creates the risk that management will inadvertently learn sensitive information about the employee such as the employee’s age, religious beliefs, medical conditions, or participation in legally protected activity.

We encourage you to attend our next Rise & Learn Workplace Workshop, held virtually, on Thursday, November 4 on Conducting an HR Audit: What You Must Know. Learn more or register here. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

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