Every employer carries the legal responsibility of educating employees about sexual harassment prevention. Even though most people know that sexual harassment is illegal, many employees don’t understand the boundaries that are appropriate in the workplace.
Regardless of the size of your business, it is essential that you take a proactive approach to prevent these problems. Employees need to be provided with an education about appropriate work behavior. Here are five tips to help you get started:
- Create a Clear Policy Against Sexual Harassment: Include all components, such as rules against quid pro quo and any behaviors that might create a hostile work environment. This policy should be provided in the employee handbook and communicated during the onboarding process. A zero-tolerance policy is the best option.
- Schedule Time for Harassment Training and Refresher Courses: Training should be provided at the beginning of employment, and again annually. Each employee needs to understand what sexual harassment is, and how they should handle the situation if harassment occurs.
- Enlist Supervisors and Managers in the Efforts: Make sure that all managers and supervisors have the same understanding that harassment is not tolerated in any form. These people are working closely with the teams, and they might identify behavior that isn’t noticed by upper-level management.
- Provide Options if Employees Experience a Bad Situation: Even with the right training, it is possible that sexual harassment might occur in the workplace. Be clear about the options that are available if anyone needs to report inappropriate behavior. Employees need to know that they can request for the person to stop the harassment, and they can report the situation for help as needed. If a complaint is received, it needs to be taken seriously and addressed immediately.
- Encourage a Positive Work Environment: Be deliberate to create a work environment that doesn’t encourage sexual harassment. Work-sponsored activities need to be professional, and it isn’t appropriate for people to tolerate offensive material or off-color jokes.
Not only do you have the legal obligation to protect your employees against sexual harassment. But, these steps can also help to create a good work environment to boost employee satisfaction and improve retention.
Do you need help with your HR policies and implementation? Cahue Enterprises is here to assist! Contact us to learn more about the HR services that are available: (951) 760-2870
*Disclaimer: Any information provided is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice regarding any subject matter. Cahue Enterprises HR Consulting, Inc. is not assuming the position of legal advisor but instead aims to educate on human resources matters and compliance.