What You Need To Know Concerning Sexual Harassment

Nov 2, 2017 | Human Resources

You can barely open your web browser without being presented with a new article about a recent harassment case that has sprung up. The past few months have brought Sexual Harassment issues back to the forefront of our minds. We are all aware of the cases surrounding Uber and Harvey Weinstein, and many others, but when was the last time you addressed harassment at your office? Within your business? A recent article in Medium has been widely referenced as an easy hack to keep harassment at bay. The so-called “Rock” hack tells you to treat any co-worker as if they were Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. If you visualize him in any situation, you find yourself using caution in your tone, actions and even thoughts.

While this hack has merit and is helpful, most offices…all offices…need more training than just a visualization exercise.  Do you have an employee handbook that addresses your harassment policy? Have you provided training to your managers? What about company-wide training for all employees? The cost of sexual harassment training is far less than the potential legal costs of a harassment suit, plus the bad press and ongoing implications for your company.

5 Practical Strategies

  1. Make sure your anti-harassment policy is clear about what might constitute harassment, includes a complaint procedure and a non-retaliation clause.
  2. Anti-harassment policies must be supported from the top down. Leaders must walk the walk and talk the talk.
  3. Recognize that harassment is not limited to sexual harassment but may include race, religion, age, bullying and others.
  4. Take complaints seriously. Once there is a report of harassment, it must be investigated.
  5. If harassment is found to be occurring, immediately take measures to stop it.

Harassment, sexual and other types, is a serious matter in the workplace.  Review your workplace practices as well as the policies; actions speak louder than words.  When confronted with a harassment issue, seek advice from an experienced HR professional or legal counsel.

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