It was when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made the necessary efforts to end sexual harassment, that the issue of workplace sexual harassment became highly significant. Actually this thorny issue is one that is very hard to police. There is only a thin hairline between just “kidding around” turns out to be “sexual harassment”.
There is a fine tool for making these issues clear in a workplace, if a total sexual harassment policy is in place. These policies must not only be complete and clear, but must be followed by an active and strong training program as well. And this policy should include the following elements for it to be complete in every respect. If an employer has difficulty in following these complicated procedures, a competent Sacramento sexual harassment lawyer can come to his/her help.
The standards stipulated in the EEOC’s or US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Guidelines as also the Supreme Court rulings propose that an efficient sexual harassment policy must consist of all the characteristics as mentioned below.
A written policy
There should be a written policy, composed in plain English, and sufficiently easy for employees to understand. More information along these lines can be found right here: http://employment-law.usattorneys.com/. Such a policy should underline the following points.
- This policy should precisely and clearly state the EEOC’s definition of sexual harassment. “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”
- It should be a Zero Tolerance Policy in the sense that it expressly declares that no sexual harassment will be accepted by the company. This will be scrutinized by sexual harassment attorneys if there are problems.
- It should encourage every employee to report instances of sexual harassment.
- All employees should be informed of the policy and should be acknowledged by them in writing.
Education and training
The employer should obtain liability protection and take steps to prevent sexual harassment by imparting training as well as education to the entire workforce. Employers ought to hold regular training and education sessions for all the employees. During this training, copies of the policy should be handed out and it must be gone through each line by line, and every section by section. The dates for this training will be looked at by sexual harassment lawyers if there are any complaints.
Inform them that this policy is essentially a “Zero Tolerance Policy.” Educate the managers and employees about the type of behavior that is considered sexual harassment. Also teach them the procedures to be followed while making a complaint, to whom and when to complain. Encourage them to make a report of any doubtful behavior and assure them that there will not be any retaliation, when a complaint is made.
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Investigation of complaints and corrective action
In order to maintain complete protection against legal responsibility for sexual harassment claims, ensure that all complaints are addressed appropriately. Investigate the complaints immediately and without any delay; keep records of all complaints as well as investigations. All these records will be requested by a Sacramento sexual harassment lawyer if there are any accusations.
The employer has the duty to maintain detailed records of all investigation in a safe location away from personnel files. A painstaking investigation should be made as to include interviews of every employee involved. All interviews and the whole investigation must be treated with professionalism, maximum sensitivity, and as confidential as possible.
To prove sexual harassment can be very complicated. Should any of the employees or employers are accused of such harassment, they should seek the help of a Sacramento sexual harassment lawyer right away.