SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE: GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYERS
by cjleclaire
 Stephen Hans Blog
Jan 25, 2018 | 6243 views | 0 0 comments | 425 425 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Anti-Harassment Policies and Complaint Procedures

Your employment attorney can assist you with the wording for an anti-harassment policy, especially if you are currently dealing with harassment issues in your business and are seeking legal counsel.

Writing Anti-Harassment Policies

What should you include in a sexual harassment policy?

According to the EEOC, all kinds of harassment can occur in the workplace and sexual harassment is a specific type of discrimination. You want your policy to be broad enough to cover all types of harassment that violate federal law. Harassment involving any type of discrimination is illegal in the workplace. Therefore your policy should state that the employer does not tolerate any harassment based on the following:

  • Race
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Genetic information
  • Harassment based on opposition to discrimination or complaint proceedings
  • Retaliation against anyone complaining of harassment or participating in an investigation

Harassment Complaint Procedures

Establishing a procedure for dealing with harassment complaints is vital to protect employees and also to protect your business.

What elements should your complaint procedure incorporate?

First of all, as the employer, you should encourage your employees to report harassment. Doing so can help you prevent harassment from becoming severe or widespread.

You should appoint more than one official to take complaints and make sure the officials are accessible for employees — readily available and in locations where employees can contact them. You can decide and designate which officials are appropriate to hear complaints and also make sure that the supervisors hearing complaints report them to management.

Make sure that supervisors and other management personnel protect the confidentiality of the employee who is complaining. While this may not always be possible in every instance, try as much as possible to make confidentiality part of the procedure.

Should you limit reporting complaints to immediate supervisors?

This type of limitation could be detrimental, especially if the supervisor is party to the harassment. Designating an official outside the employee’s chain of command is preferable, and that way you have a better chance of ensuring there is impartial handling of complaints.

Do You Have Other Questions about Dealing with Sexual Harassment Issues in Your Business?

Our attorneys at Stephen Hans & Associates are glad to answer your questions, offer legal advise, and if necessary, represent you in employment dispute issues.

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