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How Employers Can Educate Employees about Harassment

In the last two years, the news cycle has shown us that many industries have a huge sexual harassment problem. Unfortunately, that’s not the only type of harassment that can take place in a professional environment. Other individuals feel the sting from racially-based discrimination, physical encounters with coworkers, or even bullying from their superiors.

When employers work hard to try to make the office a place that is comfortable for everyone, that usually discourages this type of behavior. A great workplace will encourage people to come forward if they experience harassment from a co-worker, supervisor, or customer.

Of course, this subject is sensitive to victims. Many people are afraid to come forward and receive backlash from other coworkers or bosses. To encourage an open environment, employers should make their harassment policies clear and educate the staff on the types of behaviors that could potentially hurt someone else. There are a few other ways to keep your team in check.

Best Employment Practices

As an employer, however big your company may be, the responsibility rests on you to make sure your team behaves well in and outside of the workplace. One way to make it clear that bullying and harassment are not acceptable is to hold an annual or biannual meeting with an HR professional and have an open talk with your workers. Make sure that:

  • A trained professional who knows the laws in your state, like an HR rep or social workers conducts these meetings
  • Hold a live conference with an open discussion to facilitate any questions or concerns
  • Your employees understand the topics at hand are serious and the company won’t tolerate harassment of any kind
  • Emphasize the consequences of engaging in this behavior
  • Discuss all types of harassment
  • Give examples of subtle and illegal behavior
  • Make it clear there are support services for anyone experiencing harassment, and that they won’t get in trouble for making a complaint

Everyone in the company needs to know the official harassment policy. When a person is found guilty of this behavior there can be penalized in many ways, from a write-up to a termination. Someone caught committing sexual harassment may even face criminal or civil prosecution.

Explaining Sexual Harassment

It’s important for employers to ensure that everyone in the company understands what sexual harassment is by defining it clearly and outlining conduct that is prohibited. A good example is that certain people may not realize that telling sexually suggestive jokes might be considered sexual harassment.

Generally, an employee can do the following when they are sexually harassed at work:

  • Report the incident to their direct supervisor or department official
  • File a report against the person who attacked them
  • Go through mediation to resolve the problem
  • Cut off any direct communication with the person who harassed them

If an employee feels someone within the workplace harassed them, they need to know what to do to ensure that the behavior stops. Any discussions on this topic should center around all the ways your company is structured to help those stuck in an uncomfortable situation. Your team members need to feel confident reporting this type of behavior to the management.

Legal Counsel for Employees in Denver

When you need to resolve an employment legal issue, trust attorney Nathan Davidovich of Davidovich Law Firm, LLC to seek a favorable resolution. Mr. Davidovich holds over 55 years of experience helping employees and employers and a 2015 Clients’ Choice Award. He also has a 100% Client Recommended Review on, the premier rating service for attorneys. Call (303) 825-5529 or complete our case evaluation for professional and compassionate service.