As we discussed last week on the update, the Dallas Mavericks organization recently released the report from the investigation conducted by an independent law firm into the many complaints of harassment received by the organization over the last twenty years. What is listed below are the lowlights of the HR-equivalent of an NBA blooper reel that was the Mavericks Organization. Again, these observations are based off of the report of the Maverick’s self-commissioned independent investigators. The full investigation can be found here: https://www.scribd.com/embeds/389006837/content#from_embed.
Errors Committed by the Dallas Mavericks Management Over the Last 20 years, and Our Unbiased Assessments of Them
If you receive a report of harassment from an employee, the appropriate response is almost never to terminate that employee following her or his complaint. Retaliation claims have a far greater chance of succeeding in court, as it is not even necessary for the plaintiff to prove that harassment or discrimination occurred – only that they were the subject of negative consequences following the filing of a complaint that could reasonably be found to contemplate harassment or discrimination.
As an employer, you should be encouraging your employees to come forward with complaints of harassment and discrimination if they occur, even if they are not the target for the discriminatory actions, and offering them the same protection as the victims of the misconduct. This can only help in creating a more employee-friendly work environment.
HR is often the least-funded department in a company but the most relied-upon to meet your company’s needs and protecting the company against bad employee behavior. Employing only one human resources representative for a billion-dollar organization goes beyond careless and ventures into the unbelievable.
This is not to say that an HR Director cannot be friends with the head of an organization, but when relationships lead to the HR Director ignoring his duties to his employees, it becomes dangerous for the company.
The purpose of a complaint intake system is not to talk employees out of filing complaints, but is to be a haven for employees to bring complaints and determine whether any wrongdoing has occurred.
The workplace is not a place for the viewing of pornography, and most employers do not allow even one incident of pornography in the workplace before the employee is terminated. To allow employee conduct such as this goes beyond the pale of irresponsibility.
Again, the role of Human Resources is not to dismiss complaints, but to assess the complaints and investigate any possibilities of wrongdoing.
Why conduct exit interviews if you are not going to use the data collected to make changes to your organization or address problems?? Major improvements can be made to an organization by listening to the employees who do not want to work there anymore. Listen!
Speaking to an employee about troublesome behavior means nothing if the employee believes that nothing bad will happen if the behavior continues.
In this day and age, there is nothing that should be taken more serious than threats of workplace violence. IF you have a situation such as this develop, immediate steps must be taken to create a safe atmosphere for employees.
If any introduction to an employer facility involves a personal tour of an on-site residence, you are asking for trouble.
Have a workplace policy regarding the appropriate use of electronic devices and e-mail, and enforce it.
Behavior such as this cannot be ignored, and discipline must be issued. Furthermore: Gross.
Treatment such as this only works to enforce the idea that management supports, rather than prohibits, the behavior of problem employees.
While it is important to be supportive of your employees, instances of illegal off-duty behavior should be left to the employee to deal with.
It is always a good idea to consider putting an employee out on leave when the employee is subject to charges that may impact the organization, especially charges as serious as those described in the report.
Management needs to take steps to protect its employees, especially against those employees who will hurt them. There is not excuse to leave the punishment up to the victim. Misconduct must be dealt with swiftly and directly by management.
As you can see, the errors of the Mavericks organization not only ignored the complaints of employees, but actually put employee safety in jeopardy. We hope you NEVER find yourselves in a situation such as this, but if you ever have any questions about the appropriate response to situations like this in your workplace, do not hesitate to contact the workplace professionals at the Wiley Law Office.