How Harassment Training Can Protect Your Company
May 18, 2022 (Investorideas.com Newswire) The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission receives approximately 12,500 sexual harassment charges every year. In 2021, 6,587 sexual harassment lawsuits were filed by the same organization. It was also reported that 38 percent of women experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, and 58 percent never filed a complaint.
The main reason people are afraid to report harassment in the workplace is fear of retaliation. Another reason is people are unaware or unsure what constitutes harassment. Especially with sexual harassment, the behaviors that are considered harassment have not been clearly defined. Because of this ambiguity, sexual harassment goes unreported and unpenalized.
These statistics, found here, show that harassment, specifically sexual harassment is prevalent in nearly every work environment. 31 percent of harassment victims experience depression and anxiety after the incident. When these behaviors go unnoticed, it creates a hostile work environment that is felt by all employees. This work environment can contribute to decreased morale, lack of productivity, and loss of employees.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is a broad term that covers any behavior directed at a person because of their gender. This can include unwanted sexual advances, comments, or touch. It can also include derogatory comments directed at the person's gender. Most people assume sexual harassment is just unwanted sexual behavior, but any harassment based off someone's sex is considered sexual harassment.
Harassment is illegal, and legal action can be taken if the work environment becomes hostile due to the frequency or severity of the harassment. It is also unlawful when it negatively impacts the victim's role in their job, such as termination or demotion. If an employer has not taken all reasonable steps to prevent and correct any harassment issues, they can be held responsible. Harassment suits can cost the company a great deal of money in legal fees and restitution.
How is it prevented?
It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure the prevention of harassment in your company. Harassment is prevented by having company harassment prevention policies and plans in place. These policies should cover what harassment is and how your company plans to enforce its anti-harassment policies. For some help creating a great prevention plan, check out http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/svaw/harassment/explore/5prevention.htm.
When a company experiences harassment without a clearly defined policy in place, the company can be held liable for any damages caused by the harassment. Creating a policy ensures that all your employees know how to handle any harassment situation. The policy should cover the procedure for handling a complaint, as well as how to file a complaint if something happens.
Your company's harassment policy should clearly define what behavior is considered harassment and what actions will be taken against the harasser. The policy should also include who to contact and how to report harassment in the workplace. Your employees should be encouraged to report any behavior that is directed at themselves or anyone else. It is important that these policies are enforced evenly throughout the company. Management and supervisors need to be held responsible for following the policy, and should be subjected to the same course of action as anyone else if they don't.
These lines of communication should be free of judgment and supportive of the victim. These claims should always be taken seriously and investigated completely. The course of action should be communicated with the victim, so they know what action has been taken to prevent this behavior in the future. When employees' complaints go ignored, they are less likely to report inappropriate behavior in the future.
Harassment training and seminars should be made available to and mandatory for all of your employees. These trainings can be done online or in person and extensively cover what behaviors are inappropriate and illegal. Harassment training should have real-life situations and how to handle them.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a big issue and needs to be addressed. When looking for harassment training programs, make sure they specifically include sexual harassment trainings, since this can be the most confusing form of harassment. When participating in sexual harassment trainings, make sure it is done clearly and sensitively. Sexual harassment is a serious and sometimes damaging experience for the victim, and training can be triggering for those who have experienced it.
Sexual harassment victims should be able to feel safe in their workplace. By listening to their concerns, addressing them, and taking action against their harasser, you are creating a place where they can feel comfortable and safe.
When a clear plan for prevention is communicated to all employees, and enforced by management, the frequency of sexual harassment in the workplace will decrease. By enabling your employees to fight against inappropriate behavior in a safe way, you will be creating a more effective work environment. This will present in higher employee morale, increased productivity, and a healthier work environment.
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