Simply adopting a sexual harassment policy is not enough these days. Courts across the country are awarding damages and ruling against companies that don't meet the criteria for an actual policy. Here are six items to include to be sure your policy has teeth and clarity:
1. A written company policy should be reviewed by counsel to be sure it fits your industry and is broad enough.
2. Employees need to be informed of the policy. Its not enough to put it in a handbook. Consider posting your policy in the break room or other well traveled areas of your workspace.
3. Employees need to be made aware of HOW to report harassment, discrimination or retaliation.
4. Ensure no one undermines the policy. Employees and supervisors need to know their reports will be taken seriously.
5. The legal landscape changes often. Be sure to review your policy with legal counsel every few years to keep it current and compliant with new laws.
6. Ensure effective training of employees and managers. Managers need to understand how to handle reports and employees need to understand boundaries and reporting.
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