In the eventuality of a harassment incident between employees, it’s your job as a business owner to prepare your organization’s compliance with the law. If you don’t, you can expect monetary repercussions that are easily avoidable. There are 3 aspects to know:
1) Where It Happens Doesn’t Matter For An Organization To Be Held Accountable.
In order for your organization to be found guilty, the physical location of where an employee endures harassment by another, usually makes no difference if it’s in a business environment. Allow me to explain: if they’re together at a business affair, or at the office, it’s clear that there’s an in-person interaction of which you might have better control over. However, with the onset of employees working from home, sexual harassment can still occur within platforms that encourage employee conversation. Some of these platforms are: Podio, Asana, Yammer, and Slack.
2) You Are Blind.
Worse, is that your IT department could be caught completely blind. Imagine that you have rogue employees who rebel against using whatever platforms your IT admin asks them to use, and decides to use their own apps to get a specific job done. Slack, for example, is a popular one because of its ease of use, ability to conversate freely, and speaking of “freely”, the service itself is free to use. Here, you have work projects and assets in a space that is 1) unprotected, and 2) unmonitored. Therein lies the big problem with respect to cases like harassment… it’s not only IT that’s blind. It’s you, too.
When it comes to the law, if a victim is able to produce screenshots or other tangible evidence of his or her harassment, the courts will ask your organization to produce your copy of these conversations… only, you won’t have them since you probably didn’t even know that Slack was being used for your work project. And more often than not, the perpetrator will have deleted these conversations, leaving your organization’s fate completely in the hands of the courts.
3) Know the Law.
If there is any sexual harassment suit in your office, the court will ask you to conduct an “e-discovery” investigation. In this investigation, they are looking to “discover” and match the proof that the plaintiff presents (like a screenshot, for example).
It’s noteworthy to mention that although some apps archive messages, they often can’t restore deleted conversations, which then, legally, puts a company in jeopardy should a case go to court.
Failure for an organization to provide documentation is a de facto admission of guilt, which prove expensive, regardless of whether a case is settled in or out of court. The law simply doesn’t look kindly on the corporate version of “the dog ate my homework.”
IT departments can protect companies against the risk of sexual harassment lawsuits as a result of app conversations, thanks to cloudHQ.
Solution: Archive Everything.
When employees want to work in other apps, most IT admins will ask them not to for a variety of reasons like: security risks, lack of integration with their primary platforms, etc. Unfortunately, most employees don’t even ask their IT admins, or they defiantly choose to work in other apps despite what their IT administrators say.
You know the old saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”? It’s never been more true today- especially when it concerns social apps. In fact, Slack, the newest productivity and messaging app space for teams, is routinely described as an ‘email killer’ that’s ‘taking over offices everywhere’, and now has over 1,000,000 daily active users. If you can encourage employees to use any apps that help them be more productive, you can protect and archive all their work as a company asset.
You probably already know that with a cloudHQ integration, you can archive Gmail conversations into PDFs. Well, you can now do the same with Slack- you can archive Slack conversations and direct messages as PDFs, and have them replicated to your Google Docs account, or Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc.
Whenever a chat is deleted, it will automatically get archived as a PDF. Every strand of a conversation is timestamped, simplifying e-discovery, if lawyers were ever involved.
Protecting your organization, your organization’s assets, and your employees is just good business. Slack, and other team communication apps is often left in the wilderness, beyond the oversight of IT or legal departments. This is easily fixed via cloudHQ, so talk with a cloud expert today and start archiving your records.
Photos used under Creative Commons from illustir