Every employer has a responsibility to create and maintain a workplace that is devoid of all forms of harassment. Besides being a legal obligation, this also makes business sense. If you let workplace harassment take root in your organization, you could pay a high price in employee turnover, unending lawsuits and bad publicity.
One of the most common vices in the workplace is sexual harassment. This includes any form of unwelcome physical or non-physical contract that is sexual in nature. Workplace sexual harassment comes in two forms, “quid pro quo” and a hostile workplace.
Here are two steps employers can take to eliminate incidents of sexual harassment at work.
Come up with a comprehensive anti-sexual harassment policy
Both federal and state laws require employers to have an anti-harassment policy in their organizations. But, alongside the mandatory anti-harassment policy, it is equally important that you develop an anti-sexual harassment policy that specifies everything you want employees to know about your organization’s official position on the subject. Some of the provisions you can include in the policy include the definition and scope of workplace sexual harassment, how to report harassment and the resources victims can turn to for help.
Provide regular organization-wide training and awareness on the subject
The first step to keeping sexual harassment out of the workplace is creating awareness of the matter. In fact, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires employers to provide regular anti-sexual harassment training to employees at all levels. Getting all your employees on the same page with respect to what amounts to sexual harassment can go a long way in raising awareness while reducing such incidents from occurring at work.
No one deserves to be subjected to inappropriate and unwelcome sexual advances at work. Find out how you can create a safe and harassment-free workplace for your employees.