Excerpted from The SHRM Blog by Andrew Botwin

As a Human Resources leader for a couple decades, turned neutral workplace investigator and educator around sexual harassment and discrimination issues in the workplace, I have experienced first-hand the many practical challenges we all have around what we should do when we become aware of potential harassment or discrimination issues. Certainly, in wake of the #MeToo movement, the social, political and work environments we live and operate in have evolved. Whether you have had to deal with these issues or potentially face them in the future, we must be sure as professionals we are ready to handle the matters properly. Below are a few key points I urge all human resources professionals to think about so we will better be prepared to address these issues should they arise.

Remember our role – I see all too often, some of our peers lose perspective of the duality of our role as an internal human resource professional. This duality consists of two distinct responsibilities:

1.Risk Management – Make no mistake about this, an employer expects internal HR to protect the company’s interest. Our role as internal HR professionals is to help our organization manage, protect and minimize organizational risk.

2.Protect employee rights – As internal HR professionals, we are doing the organization a disservice if we do not take the responsibility of ensuring we are addressing if an employee has had a workplace right violated. Further, employees in our organizations will look towards HR for this help.
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