As an employer, you will be aware of the problems a sexual harassment claim in your workplace could cause. You might be proud of the fact that no one has ever reported one. However, this does not mean it has not happened. According to a new report from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a staggering 99.8% of all workplace sexual-harassment goes unreported.
How can I make sure there is no sexual harassment in my company?
If you are serious about stamping out sexual harassment in your company, you need to be proactive. You cannot assume people will tell you if it’s happening. Here are some steps you should take:
- Examine your company: It can be hard to recognize existing attitudes within your company. Consult with others. Your discoveries may surprise you.
- Make it clear sexual harassment is not acceptable: Everyone in your workplace needs to know that you will not tolerate sexist behavior. Discuss it at meetings, make it clear in employment manuals, provide information freely. Ensure people know you are serious about stamping it out.
- Ensure your managers are on board: You rely on managers to implement your policies. If they refuse to take sexual harassment seriously, employees will not report incidents to them.
- Train staff: Dealing with complaints can be challenging. Help your senior team understand how to handle reports with sensitivity. Train employees to understand the laws that protect them, their responsibility to speak up when they see harassment and how to report it.
The report found 68% of people who reported sexual harassment faced discrimination retaliation from the employer. 64% lost their jobs. It is essential that your employees feel safe to report an incidence of harassment without fear of reprisal. By taking positive action, you help create a better workplace and reduce the chance of employment litigation.