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How to Establish a Sexual Harassment Policy in Your Workplace

Prevent sexual harassment and establish disciplinary procedures for offenders with an official sexual harassment workplace policy.


  • Step 1: Follow through by enforcing the policy. Investigate reports of sexual harassment. Maintain objectivity, take notes during interviews, and gather and document evidence.
  • Step 2: Hire an experienced investigator to conduct the sexual harassment interviews if impartiality is an issue.
  • Step 3: Let both parties know the results of the investigation and take action to resolve the situation.
  • FACT: In 2008, 13,867 charges of sexual harassment were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Step 4: Establish written rules for the reporting and investigation of sexual harassment claims. Include a statute of limitations, detailed procedures for investigation, and a set of disciplinary actions.
  • Step 5: Create a sexual harassment statement of policy. The policy should define sexual harassment, and it should protect complainants and witnesses from retaliation.
  • TIP: A single inappropriate comment does not always meet standards for a hostile environment.
  • Step 6: Post a sexual harassment prevention notice before any act of sexual harassment occurs. Follow prevention regulations as outlined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, and your state.
  • Step 7: Require sexual harassment prevention training for employees. Classes, seminars, and training videos are available online.
  • Step 8: Know the 2 types of sexual harassment. Quid pro quo harassment is when an employee is offered a beneficial condition if they respond to sexual advances. Hostile work environment harassment is when a coworker's or boss' language and behavior make it impossible to work.

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