How To Prevent Sexual Harassment In The Workplace is something that every employer must learn,
There are many forms of harassment that do happen in the workplace,and all of them are a form of discrimination that people in the workplace must deal with and some things are just not fair. It seems that we live in a very unkind world today. While Sexual Harassment in the workplace is a big deal and does happen even though it should not, the discrimination does not end there.
In the days that we are living in over 50% of all employees are being bullied in the workplace. Bullying in the workplace and harassment are considered to be discrimination. Not only is Bullying in the Workplace discrimination but all forms of harassment are considered to create a hostile workplace, which is illegal.
Preventing Harassment In The Workplace
The Fair Employment as well as Housing Act defines sexual harassment in the workplace in the following ways:
- sexual harassment, gender harassment, as well as harassment based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
The Fair Employment, as well as Housing Commission regulations, defines Sexual Harassment in the following ways:
- Unwelcome sex-related advances
- Visual, or verbal or physical conduct considered to be sex-related in nature.
- The harassment can be a man or women directed towards a woman or man, or it can be the same gender, it is all harassment.
Sexual Harassment can take the following forms:
- Sexist comments that may or may not be based on gender
- Suggestive sounds that could be considered offensive, or obscene
- Jokes or Humor, based on gender, or have a sexual connotation
- Sexual propositions or invitations wanted or not, or other forms manipulation, for sex
- Threats implied or real
- Any form of excessive touching, or rubbing of body parts
- Kissing or attempted kissing
- Multiple excessive, invitations for anything from drinks, dinner, or even coffee
- Sending lewd cartoons, cards, presents, or letters
- Continuing to stare at someone making them uncomfortable
- Obscene gestures
- Assault and rape
- Sexual overtures in the form of comments and or remarks
What Exactly are some of the prevalent forms of sexual harassment?
- The offer of job-related benefits in return for sexual favors
- Sometimes employers will use their position to retaliate against an employee should the employee turn a cold shoulder to the warm advance of the employer or fellow employee.
- If you are staring at someone as in (leering) or making sex-related gestures, all of this could be considered.
- Intruding on someone’s personal space by standing too close or continually creating unwanted contact.
- Having pornography on your business computer, or even retaining dirty jokes in your email, .
Every employer in the state of California has a responsibility towards its employees, to keep the workplace free from all forms of harassment, this would include all forms of Harassment, Bullying in the Workplace, as well as allowing a Hostile Work Environment.
Should sexual harassment in the workplace occur, an employer still might be liable even if management was not aware of the ongoing.
An employer might avoid liability if the harasser is a non-management employee, the employer had no knowledge regarding the harassment, as well as there was a program to prevent harassment.
If the harasser is a non-management employee, the employer could very well avoid liability if the employer takes immediate as well as relevant corrective action to stop the harassment once the employer learns about it. Companies are strictly liable for harassment by their supervisors or agents.
The harasser can be held personally liable for damages. Per the Department of Fair Employment as well as Housing ://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Publications_StatLaws_SexHarrass.htm.
As an employer, you may be held accountable for the actions of your employees at any level but if your supervisors are involved it could be a long day at the courthouse. Hence the question is actually exactly what can employers do in order to protect both the rights of their employees as well as their business from an unwanted employee lawsuit for.
Harassment of any kind in the workplace is illegal, and should not be tolerated by employers.
Sexual harassment is considered to be part of a hostile work environment which is also illegal. Every employer should have a very strong anti-harassment policy in their company’s employee handbook. This strong Anti-Harassment should be somewhere between page three and five unless your table of contents are numbered. In that case it should be place somewhere between pages 3-5 after the table of contents.
Your policy should be clear and concise, and it should also encourage employees to report any form of sexual harassment. The policy should also contain the promise of no retaliation for filing a report. If a report should be filed the company needs to investigate the complaint as soon as possible. Should the company decide to have an outside firm do the investigation the chosen firm should be licensed. Should the firm use someone from inside the company they do not have to worry about the licensing of the person doing the investigating. However, the company does need to be careful of who they assign to investigate the complaint. The person hired needs to be considered a neutral party to everyone involved. The company will also want to make sure that the complainant is kept away from the accused.
Failing to do a prompt and thorough investigation could cost the company severally should the case end up in court.
While lately there have been some cases that have put the balance back in place, Sexual Harassment is something that all employers want to take seriously.
Protecting your business as well as Your Employees.
If you have ever been in sports then you know that a strong offense is your best defense the same is true when it comes to preventing a hostile work environment.
- Develop a strong anti-harassment policy that covers all forms of harassment
- Enforce your strong anti-harassment
- Even if you don’t have, 50 employees you should train your employees annually.
- When you train, them, take the time to talk about the different forms of workplace harassment ranging from sexual harassment to bullying in the workplace.
- Give examples of conduct that is acceptable as well as unacceptable and make sure that whether you have one or a thousand employees that they understand exactly what the boundaries a
- Should anyone complain or file a business grievance make sure that you investigate it right away
- Do not ignore it, simply hoping it will go away.
- Remember by doing the right thing the business you save may be your own.
In conclusion, there are a couple of reasons why most sexual harassment in the workplace cases are started.
- Someone gets fired or does not get the promotion that they felt they were promised.
- Someone has been harassed and has taken it for as long as they could, or the business was not aware that it was going on or did nothing about it.
- Know this all forms of harassment can cost you more than even the cost of the actual harassment case.
- When you allow a hostile work environment, you are stealing from yourself as well as your business. Under such conditions, no employee can perform at the maximum level of efficiently.
- It does not matter if some form of harassment has been going on in your business for years or even months or weeks; I can guarantee you that it has cost you much more than you may ever know.
- Hence, my advice to all employers is to take the time to be a good employer and provide your employees with both a safe work environment, along with a haven that allows them to perform at their best.