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Why does my business need an anti-harassment policy?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Employment Law |

As an employer, you want to provide your staff with an atmosphere free from harassment. You understand that in a hostile work environment, morale and productivity decline.

Unfortunately, not everyone completely understands what harassment is and sees nothing wrong with a few jokes and some teasing. That is why having an anti-harassment policy is crucial.

What should be included in an anti-harassment policy?

An anti-harassment policy is a written statement that clearly communicates a company’s position regarding workplace harassment and procedures for handling harassment claims. The goal of having this policy is to create a safe, comfortable and inclusive workplace environment.

Key components of an effective anti-harassment policy should include:

  • What constitutes harassment, including but not limited to sexual harassment, verbal or physical harassment, and discriminatory harassment based on race, gender, religion, age, disability, ethnicity, etc.
  • Who the policy applies to, including full-time employees, part-time employees, contractors, vendors and customers
  • How an employee can report an incident of harassment and who they should report it to
  • How investigations into allegations of harassment will be conducted
  • Potential consequences for those found guilty of harassment, which might range from verbal warnings to termination or legal action.
  • Assurance to employees that they will not face retaliation for reporting harassment or participating in an investigation
  • Provisions for regular training and education for all employees to ensure they understand what harassment is and how to prevent it

Additionally, the policy should be regularly reviewed to ensure it remains up-to-date and compliant with any changes in laws or regulations.

Implementing an anti-harassment policy within your business sets clear expectations and provides structure for handling complaints. It can also provide legal protection against claims of harassment. A well-defined policy shows that your business takes prevention and response to this issue seriously. Furthermore, employees are more likely to stay with a company where they feel safe and respected.

If you do not have a policy in place or it has not been professionally reviewed lately, contact us for a consultation.