7 Steps To Prevent Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

by | Jul 12, 2023 | Blog, Employment Policies

  • Amy Letke

    Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success. Contact us for more insights - 502-753-0970 or info@integrityhr.com

Ah, the sweet sizzle of summer! It’s the season when the mercury rises, and sometimes, so does the boldness of our actions. While this might be great for trying out a new hobby or striking up a conversation with a stranger, it’s not quite the recipe for success in the workplace. Especially when it comes to the serious issue of sexual harassment. 

Did you know that a staggering 40-70% of women and 10-20% of men have experienced sexual harassment at work? Yikes! 

Whether your team is hustling in the office or chilling at a summer company bash, it’s crucial they’re clued up on your business’s sexual harassment policy and know where to draw the line. So, let’s dive into some tips on how to keep your workplace safe and respectful. 

Step 1: Craft a Robust Sexual Harassment Policy 

If you haven’t already, it’s high time to lay out your company’s sexual harassment policy in your employee handbook. You could also display it somewhere frequented by your team, like the break room. This policy should clearly state your organization’s commitment to a zero-tolerance, discrimination and harassment-free workplace. It should also define what constitutes sexual harassment and outline the process for reporting incidents and the consequences for offenders. 

Step 2: Promote Consensual Agreement Forms for Office Romances 

Also known as “love contracts,” these forms are signed by both parties in a workplace romance, confirming that the relationship is consensual. While they’re a bit controversial, they can help protect the company and the individuals involved from future harassment claims. 

Step 3: Don’t Encourage or Laugh at Inappropriate Jokes 

Humor can be subjective, and what’s funny to one person might be offensive to another. It’s important to remind employees to be mindful of their jokes and comments. If someone crosses the line, it’s crucial to address it promptly. 

Step 4: Keep Office Parties Family-Friendly

Office parties are a great way to boost team morale, but it’s essential to keep them professional. Remind employees about the company’s sexual harassment policy and dress code before the event to ensure everyone knows what’s acceptable. 

Step 5: Ensure Management Attends Anti-Harassment Workshops 

By attending these workshops, upper-level employees can gain a clear understanding of harassment and how to handle any incidents that may arise. 

Step 6: Respond to Sexual Harassment Complaints Promptly 

Quick action in response to a sexual harassment complaint can not only reduce your organization’s liability but also sends a clear message that such behavior won’t be tolerated. 

Step 7: Prevent Retaliation

Fear of retaliation can prevent victims from reporting sexual harassment. It’s crucial to remind all employees that retaliation against someone for filing a harassment claim is not only unethical, it’s illegal. 

Remember, your most potent weapon against sexual harassment is a solid prevention plan. By creating a safe and comfortable environment, you can enjoy a summer (and every other season) free of workplace issues. 

And hey, if you need a hand crafting your prevention plan or training your team, Integrity HR is here to help! Give us a call at 877-753-0970 or click the Contact Us link to learn more.

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