Today's Veterinary Business

FEB 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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Page 59 of 67

58 Today's Veterinary Business Leadership Leadership must pay more than lip service to the issue and must not be only a way to limit your liability if or when a complaint occurs. Your program and policies must make a stand for respect and equality in the workplace, and you must amplify that by how you train, by how you communicate and by how you serve as a role model in your practice. If you don't have an anti- harassment training program, you need to create one now. It must be a top priority. You need to care- fully craft harassment and sexual misconduct policies and proce- dures and share them with all your employees. Consider role-playing sexual harassment scenarios to give your team the opportunity to demonstrate and discuss the true impact of sexual harassment. If you don't know where to start, consider hiring a practice consultant or hu- man resources expert to construct a plan and conduct in-clinic training. Your policies and procedures should provide multiple ways for an employee to report acts of harassment. If the only official avenue is for someone to go to his or her direct supervisor, how does it help if the supervisor is the harasser? This scenario, unfortu- nately, does happen. Also have a plan for how you will follow through on complaints, and don't rule out hiring outside legal counsel if appropriate. Once the policies and procedures are fi- nalized, add them to the employee manual and go over them with the entire team. Review the policies an- nually, or more often if changes are made. Specific policies and proce- dures may vary by practice, but the bottom line in any document must be that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. It will be investigated promptly and addressed decisively. Responding to Complaints The U.S. Equal Employment Op- portunity Commission requires prompt and proportionate correc- tive action whenever harassment is found to have taken place, with workplaces having both a legal and ethical responsibility to appropri- How affects you, too Sexual harassment in the workplace must be dealt with promptly, fairly and firmly. (Continued from cover) If your team has a sexual harasser, your practice may be one complaint away from a disaster. How should your practice respond to the multilayered issue of sexual harassment? Do you know how to respond to complaints and proactively protect your practice? Knowledge Is Power First, take a good, hard look at your hospital's sexual harassment training program and be honest with yourself. What is the quality of the program and how much effort do you put into it? If the program isn't as well thought out and implemented as it could be and should be, you're not alone, but improving it must be a priority. The training

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