When it comes to multifamily properties, well-being is paramount. With multiple individuals in close proximity, it is essential that everyone feels comfortable and secure. By taking preventative steps, a protected environment can be created.
Understanding Sexual Harassment in Multifamily Settings
Property management professionals are legally obligated to prevent and address sexual harassment under the Fair Housing Act. This legislation prohibits discrimination in housing based on sex, including sexual harassment.
To ensure compliance, property managers must establish clear policies, provide regular training, and ensure prompt and effective responses to reported incidents. In addition, it is crucial to provide support and resources to victims of sexual harassment. Equally important, organizations can reduce the occurrence of sexual harassment by implementing proactive preventive measures.
How Do I Keep My Community Protected From Sexual Harassment?
What can you do to help protect your applicants, residents, and employees from harassment?
Here are some tips:
Provide Meaningful Training: Through effective training, employees can learn about their responsibilities and rights in the workplace, including learning about appropriate behavior, what constitutes harassment, and the consequences of inappropriate behavior. Employees will also learn how to respond to reports of harassment and how to support those who have experienced harassment.
Have Strong Written Policies: The Fair Housing Act, Title VII, and most state and local laws require that you have written sexual harassment policies. These policies are vital to creating a safer workplace as they provide clear guidelines on inappropriate behavior. In addition, it establishes a process for reporting and addressing incidents and protects the company from legal liability.
Conduct Thorough Investigations: If a sexual harassment allegation is lodged against someone within your organization, the law requires that the company conduct a thorough, good-faith investigation. Conducting thorough investigations allows for a fair and just resolution. Investigations must be carried out with care, caution, and impartiality. Any biases or predispositions can affect the results of the inquiry, so those who are tasked with the responsibility of investigating accusations must be objective, neutral, and without personal involvement.
Provide Support and Resources: Recognizing the traumatic impact of sexual harassment is essential, and it is imperative to create a safe and confidential environment where victims can report incidents without fear of retaliation. Property managers should always provide support through resources such as counseling services.
As property management professionals, it is essential to ensure residents are protected from harassment of any kind. By understanding the nature of sexual harassment, following legal obligations, implementing preventive measures, and providing support and resources, a safe environment can be created. Remember, safety should always be the top priority in multifamily management.