When your mobile phone becomes a threat

Cell phones are a way of life.  We update our Facebook accounts, check e-mail, find a restaurant, text our significant others and even occasionally talk to someone.  But increasingly, cell phones are becoming a vehicle for what is being labeled as “textual harassment” or harassment via text messages.  It’s easy to discount, thinking that this is a simple issue and one that won’t ever affect you, but “textual harassment” is becoming a problem for all age groups and it is an issue that employers must deal with.

Employees today are using their cell phones as new weapons for sending threatening and abusive messages to co-workers.  They are spreading non truths about others including their supervisors and/or the companies they work for.  They are sexually harassing colleagues and employees alike and even bullying co-workers.  Considering all of this, it is important for employers to have clear policies in their handbooks that detail what is and is not acceptable when it comes to texting.  This form of harassment can also apply to social media posting. When drafting your policies, consider the usage of not only personal cell phones but also privacy issues related to company paid for and company reimbursed cell phones as well. Once your policies are in place, you should establish training for staff members that explains your position and outlines procedures for complaints to management.  Dealing with reports immediately, documenting the complaint, investigating the claim and evaluating the evidence for potential corrective action will go a long way in defending you and your company should the EEOC get involved. 

StaffScapes is experienced in dealing with claims of textual harassment and works with its clients to have clear policies established.  For more information or assistance for your company, please call StaffScapes at 303-466-7864.

Written By: Eugena Bellamy