Sexual harassment is any unacceptable sexual conduct at the workplace that formulates a formidable business environment. Given this, sexual harassment ranges from inappropriate jokes, eve-teasing, unwanted touching, or asking for sexual favors in exchange for something that you deserve in the work setting. As an employer, it’s necessary to be watchful of activities adhering to sexual harassment practices. This article explains some prevention strategies and other crucial aspects to stop sexual harassment at the workplace.
Train your employees
Conduct training sessions for your employees once a year. This session should teach the workers about:
- What is sexual harassment, and how to recognize it?
- What to do if they experience or witness it?
- Explain their rights of working in a harassment-free business environment, encouraging them to use them.
- Describing what is considered acceptable behavior.
effective anti-harassment policy, explain what sexual harassment is, and list examples relevant to your business environment. The policy should specify who is protected, following with actions that’ll be taken against the harasser. Plus, highlight the consequences of breaching the given policy. While at it, make sure to include a third-party harassment section while encouraging the workers to report it. Please review the policy regularly, ensuring it covers all the potential areas of your organization. Monitor its effectiveness towards preventing sexual harassment.
Educate the managers and supervisors on dealing with complaints
Likewise, the employee training sessions conduct separate training sessions for the company managers and supervisors. Herein the workers should be trained on what sexual harassment is and how to deal with workplace complaints. More so, the session should also teach how to address third-party harassment issues.
Have a simple harassment reporting process in your organization
Introduce an easy reporting system in your organization wherein it’s comfortable for employees to report against any unwelcome behavior. And make sure all the workers are well-informed of the system. For this, you can consider promoting an online or independent telephone-based service, allowing workers to report anonymously or given names. This is to ensure that no employee fears raising an issue of sexual harassment.
Monitor your workplace periodically.
To reduce the risks of sexual harassment issues, assess your work environment. Go out to the employees, talk about the business whereabouts, ask for their inputs. Try maintaining healthy communication with your workers to While at it, consider keeping a check on any factors that can promote sexual harassment at the workplace. Do you find any offensive observation? Is there enough job security for every employee or group? Ensure taking note of anything skeptical.
Take immediate action
If a sexual harassment complaint is made, make sure to look into the matter immediately. Take effective actions to resolve the complaint without disturbing the entire workplace environment. Learn to respect the confidentiality of the parties involved. If a sexual harassment complaint falls under a criminal offense, discuss with the individual if they want to reach out to the legal authorities concerning the matter. If yes, support them with the best sexual harassment lawyer in new york city for any further proceedings.
Spreading awareness is one of the most effective preventive measures for sexual harassment. Workers that are well-aware of the aspects facilitating sexual harassment are more likely to address the issue and report the incident. To determine the staff’s perception of sexual harassment, you can conduct a quick assessment by designing a questionnaire. This will help to measure the frequency of inappropriate conduct at the workplace.
Laws against sexual harassment at the workplace
Title VII of the civil rights act of 1964 is the primary federal law that restricts sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the workplace. The law makes sexual harassment illegal in all terms, conditions, and privileges of the service.
Title VII applies to :
- Private employers with at least 15 workers at the workplace.
- Employment agencies
- State governments and their distributed political subdivisions.
- Joint labor-management committees.
- Labor organization and other training programs
- The federal government
How can employees contribute to preventing sexual harassment at the workplace?
In addition to the employer’s duty to provide a harassment-free work environment, employees can also take up an active role in controlling the mayhem following these aspects:
- Understand one’s attitude, perspective, and behavior regarding sexual harassment.
- Be watchful of any form of sexual harassment, discouraging any inappropriate instances.
- Examine your verbal or non-verbal behavior that can offend or negatively impact co-workers.
- Never encourage sexual harassment by taking it lightly and not raising your voice. Let the harasser know that you do not enjoy any such behavior and are willing to take the right measures against the offense.
Sexual harassment is not acceptable in any environment or setting. Maintaining a workplace free from sexual harassment is a legal obligation. And overlocking the offense can cost you low productivity, poor employee morale, and a sexual harassment lawsuit.