Sexual harassment prevention and discipline has been greatly improved in the U.S. in recent years, but it still remains a very important and common issue employees face every day. Prevention remains the best solution to the problem of sexual harassment at work.
Learning how to recognize and prevent sexual harassment is all about getting educated, which is what we plan to do here.
What is Sexual Harassment?
According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is any action such as sexual advances, requesting sexual favors, making inappropriate jokes or comments, and any verbal or physical behavior directed towards another person that is sexual in nature.
The aggressor in sexual harassment cases is not always a man, nor is the victim always a woman. Anyone can commit or be the target of sexual harassment.
How Can You Prevent Sexual Harassment?
In order to prevent sexual harassment, try to take as many of the following steps as you can.
- Take complaints seriously – If a coworker comes to you and complains about being sexually harassed by another colleague or a supervisor, don’t write it off.
- Keep an Eye Open – We’re not saying you have to be a hall monitor, but again, don’t write off anything that you think may be sexual harassment. If you see a coworker or boss doing something that seems to make a coworker uncomfortable, talk to them.
- Clear Employee Policy – If there isn’t one already, ask your employer to create a very clear policy regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Then, ask them to address the entire workforce regarding the policy.
- Educate Your Coworkers – If the company you work for does not organize a training seminar for sexual harassment, you can take things in to your own hands and make sure your colleagues are educated as to what constitutes sexual harassment and what to do about it.
- Call an Employment Attorney – If you are being sexually harassed and can’t make it stop, call an employment attorney. They can help you make the harassment stop as well as prevent the culprit from doing it to anyone else.