Whatever form harassment takes, the employer must intervene to stop it. Establish a formal grievance system or process, and let your employees know what it is. As a first step, it is helpful for the victim to directly address the harasser and clearly inform him or her that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. If the behavior doesn’t end there, the person being harassed should engage any complaint or grievance system in place at the company to report the alleged sexual harassment.
Make this process as simple as possible for your employees by providing accessible points of contacts for employees to bring complaints. Your policy should also assure employees that they will not suffer retaliation as a result of any complaint made in good faith. Retaliation is against the law.
The most efficient solution to the problem of sexual harassment is to prevent it in the first place. In addition to a formal policy, training and reporting process, it is in an employer's best interest to discourage some of the behaviors that might lead to sexual harassment, such as inappropriate joking, using crude language and posting sexually suggestive photographs in the workplace. While it is impossible to monitor the behavior of every individual employee, setting reasonable standards and raising sensitivity can make it less likely that a line will be crossed.
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