There are important steps employers can take to address sexual harassment in the workplace. It is valuable for employers to be informed about what they can do to prevent sexual harassment and how to address it in the workplace.
Steps that employers can take
Employers can take several steps to address sexual harassment in the workplace to prevent it from becoming a problem and to address incidents of it when they occur including:
- Adopt and publish a sexual harassment policy: employers should develop formal, written, policies and procedures related to sexual harassment. They should ensure the written policy is published and available to workers. Doing otherwise can create legal risk.
- Make a zero-tolerance policy: employers should create a zero-tolerance policy that does not tolerate incidents of sexual harassment and results in termination if sexual harassment is substantiated.
- Management shares the policy: it is important that management discusses the sexual harassment policy with employees and that it is not simply a written policy that is never referenced. It is helpful to conduct routine training about the policy and procedures for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace with employees.
- Create an anti-retaliation policy: it is illegal to retaliate against employees for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace but this should be spelled out and also understood at all levels.
There are additional steps employers can take to keep workplaces free of sexual harassment that they should also be aware of. Employers and employees should work together to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers should be familiar with employment laws and the steps they can take to address sexual harassment in the workplace.