Preventing Sexual Harassment | Employment and Labor Law
How Can an Employer Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
Employment and Labor Law | Sexual harassment is one of the most common forms of harassment in the workplace, which can make for an unstable, unproductive workplace as well as open you up to liability issues. Fully preventing it from happening to employees can often be difficult. There are, however, a few steps an employer can take to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
The first and most important is to adopt a clear policy on sexual harassment. This policy should be included in any employee handbooks and should define what constitutes sexual harassment, explain that it is intolerable and set out a clear procedure for how any sexual harassment claims will be handled. By communicating this information to employees, an employer is able to both educate this workforce as to what is and is not considered acceptable and communicate that such behavior is taken seriously. This serves to reassure employees that harassment against them won’t be tolerated and warn employees who might engage in such behavior.
In addition to explicitly spelling out a harassment policy, employers should make efforts to train employees. At least once a year, it is a good idea to conduct sexual harassment training sessions for workers during which the policy is explained, the complaint procedure is reviewed and any questions are answered. For long-tenured employees, these annual or semi-annual training sessions will serve as an important reminder that these policies are still in place.
Finally, be sure to train supervisors and managers on how to handle harassment claims and behavior in their roles. Often these employees are better equipped to monitor the actions of other employees and will be able to deal with a situation as soon as it arises rather than after it has continued for a long period of time.
Ultimately, it is your role to create an environment free of sexual harassment. If you need assistance creating and implementing a sexual harassment policy, consider consulting the employment law attorneys at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP, in Bakersfield.
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