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What Is Your Employer’s Role In Preventing Sexual Harassment?

What Is Your Employer’s Role In Preventing Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal and should never be tolerated. In addition to being prohibited under federal law, the Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits all employers from harassing employees on the basis of sex. Employers have an obligation to their employees to keep workplaces safe and comfortable for all who work there, and as such, employers play a role in preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

Employers have an obligation to combat sexual harassment before it happens under the regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), i.e., they are required to try and prevent workplace sexual harassment from occurring in the first place. Additionally, employers have an obligation to quickly and thoroughly address any allegations of workplace sexual harassment made by employees.

Practical Advice For Employers Concerning Sexual Harassment Company Practices

Workplace sexual harassment is preventable if employers take action to educate and inform employees that instances of sexual harassment will not be tolerated. There are many things that employers can and should be doing to combat workplace sexual harassment before a victim is put in an uncomfortable situation. Below are a few ways that employers can prevent sexual harassment before it happens or resolve allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. The employer should:

  • Develop a clear definition, based on state and federal law, of what workplace sexual harassment is.
  • Develop a written sexual harassment policy for employees.
  • Post the company’s sexual harassment policy in locations around the workplace where workers can see it.
  • Distribute the company’s written sexual harassment policy to employees to ensure that all employees are aware of the policy.
  • Regularly schedule and conduct sexual harassment training for all employees.
  • Provide workers with examples of what is considered inappropriate workplace behavior.
  • Implement a non-retaliatory procedure for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Make employees aware of the non-retaliatory policy for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Establish a sexual harassment reporting procedure for victims.
  • Implement a disciplinary policy regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Make employees aware of the disciplinary policy regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Develop a procedure for investigating allegations of sexual harassment that includes hearing both the victim’s and the alleged harasser’s side of the story.  

Some of the above ways to prevent or resolve instances of workplace sexual harassment are required by law, while others are good business practices that any and all employers should implement.

When Sexual Harassment Occurs At Work

Sexual harassment is viewed from the point of view of the victim, not from the intentions of the person who allegedly  committed the offensive contact or conduct. As such, employers must address any sexual harassment allegations as conservatively as possible. Regardless, if you are the victim of workplace sexual harassment, you should consult with an experienced workplace sexual harassment lawyer.

Call Now For A Free Initial Consultation

The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline knows your rights when it comes to workplace sexual harassment. We have helped countless victims of sexual harassment bring legal action against their employers. Contact our Chicago, Illinois sexual harassment attorneys today for a free consultation regarding your situation.

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