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Employer Sex Harassment Program Cheat Sheet by

Employers must re-examine their Sexual Harassment Prevention
resources     program     prevention     human     h-r     personnel     sexual     employer     harassment


Employers must be prepared. Sex harassment cases may result not only in corporate and individual liability, but also in dilution and dete-r­ior­ation of a company's brand and reputa­tion. Companies should evaluate their harassment prevention programs and consider taking practical measures, such as the following:
Source Nadine Abrahams & Samia M. Kirmani

1. Model

It starts at the top. Corporate leaders must model expected behavior so that the company can align a zero-t­ole­rance policy with a zero-t­ole­rance reality.

2. Message

Employers must message their expect­ations with respect to approp­riate and inappr­opriate conduct:
 ­ a) Dissem­ina­te—­dir­ectly from C-Suite offici­als­—robust policies prohib­iting harassment based on any protected class, including sex;
 ­ b) Include in such policies a clear reporting mechan­ism, which requires employees to report workplace harassment and provides multiple avenues to raise issues; and
 ­ c) Establish and commun­icate strong policies against retali­ati­on.

3. Train

Conduct targeted training programs, tailored to different employee popula­tions. Include in such trainings clear expect­ations on what employees should do (not just what they should not do), as well as bystander interv­ention strat¬­egies. Consider creative and intera­ctive training platforms for superv­isors and employees, with in-person simula­tions and role-p­laying, as well as web-based e-training when live training is not feasible. Conduct separate training for those in the organi­zation respon­sible for conducting invest­i¬g­ations.

4. Manage

Employers must promptly manage situations when they arise. This means that employers should conduct timely, unbiased and thorough invest­iga­tions of all allega­tions. They should take prompt, remedial action to stop inappr­opriate conduct and ensure it does not recur.

Sexual Harassment

5. Monitor

Employers should monitor contin­uously the workplace to measure the effect­iveness of their prevention programs. It is not enough to conduct check-­the-box training. Employers should consider broader measures, including but not limited to the following:

Evaluate readily available data, such as historical complaints and existing climate survey results, to identify trends and areas of vulner­abi­lity.
Initiate various means of employee engage­ment, including roundt­ables, electronic touchp­oints, surveys, and 360 evalua­tions of leader­ship.
Revise perfor­mance evaluation metrics to include accoun­tab­ility for upholding equal employment opport­unity and harassment prevention standards.
Ensure a meaningful connection between parts of the organi­zation respon­sible for diversity and inclusion initia­tives and those respon­sible for equal employment opport­unity and harassment prevention compliance efforts. Too often, each operates in a vacuum.

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