Increased sexual harassment lawsuits have resulted in new regulations regarding sexual assault and abuse, the latest of which includes an in-depth document published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that identifies core principles necessary for the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. The EEOC’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace identified the following core principles that have proven to be effective, including:
Leadership and Demonstrated Accountability
Employers should create and maintain a company culture in which harassment is not tolerated. Not only should employers and company leaders reiterate and reinforce the prohibition of harassment of any kind, but strict procedures and consequences should be made apparent if harassment occurs.
Employers should regularly assess harassment risk factors, while listening to employee concerns. Adjustments should be made to ensure that risks and concerns are taken into consideration. Resources and time should be made readily available to combat sexual harassment concerns and inform employees of their rights and responsibilities. Not only should sexual harassment policies be easy to understand, but they must be accessible and comprehensive. Furthermore, all employees should be trained to avoid, recognize, and prevent acts of sexual misconduct, assault, and harassment.
Comprehensive Harassment Policies
Employers should take efforts to ensure that harassment policies are clearly communicated to employees at every level of the organization. Policies should be clear, yet thorough, offering easy to understand descriptions and examples of prohibited conduct. Employers should make it clear that confidentiality is key, and that retaliation will not occur if an employee comes forth with allegations of harassment. Furthermore, employers should provide an overview of the complaint system, while providing accessible reporting avenues for victims.
Accessible Complaint Procedures
An effective harassment complaint system should be accessible and encourage employees to report problematic conduct immediately. The system should function promptly and impartially, while maintaining confidentiality unless prohibited, during and after thorough investigation. The system should provide adequate consequences depending on the severity of harassment or misconduct.
By incorporating comprehensive training programs, employees will become aware of organizational rules and accepted forms of workplace behavior. An effective harassment training program will inform employees of expected policies, procedures, and expectations, along with consequences in the event of misconduct.
By employing effective training measures, employers will be able to combat sexual harassment, including assault and abuse. While the EEOC’s practices for preventing harassment are not federally enforced, they will assist with developing and maintaining an effective workplace regime to prevent cases of unwanted sexual conduct.
Bucks County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Assist Victims of Unwanted Sexual Contact in the WorkplaceIf you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace, you are not alone. Our experienced team of Bucks County sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. are here to help you receive the justice you deserve. With an office located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we are easily accessible to residents from the surrounding areas. Contact us online or call 215-569-1999 to schedule a free consultation today to discuss your concerns.