Sexual harassment can present serious problems for a business owner. In addition to creating tension in the workplace and potential friction between employees, it can significantly cost you if an employee decides you haven't done enough to prevent it. Your first line of defense against sexual harassment occurring in your workplace is to have a clearly stated policy. The attached file contains two sample sexual harassment policies, different in tone but both designed to include all the essential elements of such a policy and to clearly spell that you take this issue seriously and that the consequences of engaging in inappropriate behavior can be severe. You can edit or combine policies to quickly customize one for your company. Also included in the file are sample guidelines for investigating complaints of sexual harassment. These guidelines are designed to help you handle a complaint but generally don't need to be shared with employees.
The file contains a six-page document (two sexual harassment policies and a set of harassment investigation guidelines) in rich text format (RTF) that is suitable for use with most word processing programs used in the Windows environment.
Sexual harassment aids
The two sexual harassment policies can be used alone or in combination, as appropriate for your company. They both contain all the essential elements of such a policy, including:
- clear statement of the company's position on sexual harassment
- definition of sexual harassment
- conditions under which conduct is considered harassing
- steps employees should take if they experience or witness sexual harassment
- consequences and penalties
The guidelines for investigating complaints include a list of tips on doing each of the following:
- gathering information about a complaint and interviewing the complainant
- investigating a claim
- interviewing the accused
- interviewing witnesses
- resolving the complaint
Creating a Harassment Policy