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What to Include in Your Anti-Harassment Guide

To better protect employees and the organization as a whole, employers are beefing up their anti-harassment guides. In this blog, we'll discuss 10 key elements to include in yours.

1. Introduction

In this section, go into detail about why this document is necessary and your company's commitment to a harassment-free workplace. In addition, explain who this document applies to (employees, managers, visitors, vendors, etc.)

2. Definitions

Here, provide definitions of harassment, including sexual harassment, quid pro quo harassment, hostile work environment, discrimination, and bullying. Provide types of harassment i.e. digital or verbal. You may also provide examples if you believe that will help clarify.

3. Policy Statement

Here is where you declare your company's zero tolerance policy against harassment and the consequences of participating in any form of harassment.

4. Responsibilities

  • Employees: All employees are expected to maintain a respectful workplace free from any form of harassment.

  • Managers: Describe the managers' roles in preventing, investigating, and otherwise handling harassment issues.

  • HR: Explain how Human Resources will ensure compliance and handle grievances. Make sure to include how employees can contact HR.

5. Reporting Process

Provide clear instructions on how to report harassment (what forms to fill out/who to contact, etc.) Be sure to assure employees that, if possible, complaints will be handled confidentially. It is important to note here that retaliation against anyone who reports harassment or is involved in an investigation is prohibited by the company.

6. Investigation Process

Outline the steps of an investigation and include timeframes and who will conduct the investigation. Explain possible outcomes and consequences for those found in violation of the policy. Provide contact information should anyone have questions regarding the investigation.

7. Training

Hold quarterly, or, at minimum, yearly harassment training. These sessions should be geared toward recognizing and preventing harassment. Make sure employees acknowledge/sign that they understand the training fully.

8. Support

Provide resources to those who have been a victim or witness to harassment. This may be in the form of employee assistance programs (EAPs) or other forms of counseling.

9. Legalities

Provide your state's laws in addition to federal law regarding harassment in the workplace. Include a statement of your company's commitment to comply with said laws.

10. Conclusion

Again, state your company's commitment to maintaining a harassment-free workplace and provide contact details for those with additional questions or concerns. Reiterate the importance of the policy and consequences for violating it.

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