sexual harassment tips
Sexual harassment tips for the HR Pro starts with the definition of Sexual Harassment. Sexual harassment occurs when an employee makes sexual comments or advances that are not welcomed by another employee. This can include requests for sexual favors, continued sexual propositions, as well as other verbal or physical actions that are sexual in nature and done against another employee’s wishes.

As a rule of thumb, any acts of sexual harassment that negatively affects an employee’s performance, advancement, comfort and safety at work must be taken seriously.  This can include repeated requests for dates, offensive jokes or gestures, offensive images or words that others will see on clothing or in the form of posters or graphics, unwanted touching or bodily contact, blocking or restricting an employee’s movement, unwelcome flirting or sexual comments, and even playing sexually suggestive music.

An HR Professional must be mindful that employees will have varying degrees of tolerance. You must remain unbiased and non-judgemental when dealing with concerns and complaints.

Here’s 13 Sexual Harassment Tips to help you prevent sexual harassment in the workplace:

  1. Read and familiarize yourself with your organization’s Sexual Harassment Policy.
  2. Get clear on what actions and behavior constitutes sexual harassment.
  3. Post your sexual harassment policy in a prominent place
  4. Distribute your company’s policy to all employees and hold staff meeting(s) to ensure all employees are clear about your policy. Ensure all employees understand what constitutes unwelcome behavior and the proper way to report sexual harassment violations or concerns.
  5. Continue to educate employees about sexual harassment.
  6. Pay close attention to your workplace environment and any actions that may be offensive to others.
  7. Encourage feedback from employees about the workplace environment and their concerns for sexual harassment and safety.
  8. Clearly express the fact that sexual harassment at the workplace will not be tolerated.
  9. Take swift and appropriate action should a sexual complaint or concern surface.
  10. Remain neutral and objective during a sexual harassment investigation.
  11. Make sure that everyone is clear that retaliation will not be tolerated..
  12. Stop employees from spreading rumors or creating tension after an incident has been reported.
  13. Consider creating a team building activity or encouraging an open communication forum to speak about sexual harassment without focusing directly on the active investigation.

Above all else, employees need to understand that they have an obligation to report sexual harassment concerns to their supervisor or the Human Resources office.

What’s Next?

If you want additional sexual harassment tips, or need help creating your sexual harassment investigation procedure, The HR SOURCE would love to help.  We provide a service called “HR on Call” which acts as an extension to your HR team by providing access to one of our seasoned human resource professionals. Contact us to find out more.

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