Sexual harassment has no place in a professional setting. It creates a tense, uncomfortable space for both the victim and those around them. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Sexual harassment can hinder an overall workplace dynamic, and can be considered a range of actions or words including:
- Physical contact or threats
- Requests for sexual favors
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Verbal communication.
Sexual harassment training and prevention begins with management. If supervisors are trained on how to notice, intervene or stop harassment, employees may feel more comfortable to step forward or take a stand. Some tips to remember when dealing with sexual harassment allegations include:
- Be cognizant of what happens in your office: As a leader, you are the person employees will come to for help or reassurance. If you sense an apparent problem, address it right away to avoid further risk to possible victims.
- Create a safe, productive environment: Enforce a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to harassment, crude jokes or any inappropriate physical contact. Reducing sexual harassment issues will increase employee happiness and productivity.
- Support the victim: Let the victim or victims know you are available for any help they may need. Ensure they are given the support they need to feel comfortable again while at work. In addition make sure the rest of your employees are also willing and able to offer their support.
Mastery has a range of available e-learning courses for sexual harassment prevention training. Check out our website for more information and a detailed list of available employee development materials.