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Addressing sexual and workplace harassment
In the last few years, no other risk and compliance issue has seen as much media coverage as sexual harassment. And this can be just the tip of the iceberg. The EEOC states that majority of people who experience sexual harassment in the workplace (up to 94%) do not report it. With movements like #MeToo empowering people to speak out, employers need to all they can to protect their people and their reputation.
Creating a workplace culture where employees feel safe and respected means designing and implementing a workplace harassment prevention programme that adapts to emerging issues. The political environment, social events and technological developments can all influence workplace harassment.
In some cases, national and state legislation is requiring employers to aggressively reduce sexual and workplace harassment. Recently, New York State and New York City passed laws that require every employer have an updated anti-sexual harassment policy and to deliver annual interactive training to address sexual harassment. Our policy and training solutions support our customers’ ability to comply with the requirements of these laws while multiple jurisdictions are considering similar laws. Trends are indicating turning a blind eye to harassment is no longer tolerated.
What you need
Multiple ways for employees to report workplace harassment, and a secure place for reports of discrimination in the workplace to be gathered and managed.
An ongoing awareness effort to reinforce the right tone and keep anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training top of mind.
Clear communication on your workplace harassment policy and an easy way to review and update it annually.
A communication programme to middle managers that provides ongoing practical steps they can take to stay connected with their employees, and help prevent harassment before it starts.
Nimble training that provides employees with a deeper level of understanding on how to spot age, racial or religious discrimination, workplace bulling, abusive conduct and sexual harassment.
A commitment, enforcement and accountability for policy violations as they occur.
Steps you can take to build a workplace harassment prevention programme that works
Implement and distribute harassment and discrimination policies.
Make sure your code of conduct is up to date.
Implement a robust internal reporting system to receive timely and accurate information.
Provide workplace harassment training to your employees.