Harassment lawsuits as a business continuity consideration
The practice of business continuity planning is all about assessing areas of vulnerability for an operation and developing solutions in advance that address how to either prevent issues related to those vulnerabilities or laying out action protocols to mitigate any damage they may cause.
As such, a business continuity plan itself is simply a roadmap for how a company will be able to keep its operations on track should adverse conditions manifest. As stressed throughout this blog, in the traditional sense, a business continuity plan relates to things like how workers, data or infrastructure will be recovered should a natural or man-made disaster disrupt normal operations.
However, another thing that will certainly throw off a business' ability to deliver their core product or service is a lawsuit. When a company has to throw time, energy and resources into legal fees and court time, other aspects of the operation will undoubtedly suffer. Furthermore, having a company's name dragged through the press as a defendant in a lawsuit can certainly have an adverse effect on how that business is perceived by the public. This is especially true when the lawsuit is filed from within.
For example, Deputy James Gist of the Galveston County Sheriff's Department recently named his supervisor Pam Matranga as the defendant in a sexual harassment lawsuit. Court documents suggest that Matranga constantly engaged in inappropriate behavior including forcing Gist's head under her blouse, inappropriate gyrations and suggesting that they attend a local adult establishment together.
In order to prevent the damage this kind of negative press can have on an organization, it would be wise to partner with a certified business continuity consultant. These professionals can sit down with business leaders and explain the pitfalls of this kind of negative behavior and develop the proper protocols for addressing harassment in the workplace.