We have sample Sexual Harassment Policies and a Harassment Investigation Guide free to download, customize & print for your small business.
There are two different S.H. sample policies below for your small business to use for their guidelines on these type of harassment.
We also included the Harassment Investigation Guide towards the end of the these policies for your small business to use and learn how to approach these very sensitive situations on sexuality that might unfortunately arise within the workplace.
The first couple of paragraphs on the first sexual sample harassment policy includes: [Company name]’s position is that sexual harassment (S.H.) is a form of misconduct that undermines the integrity of the employment relationship. All employees have the right to work in an environment free from all forms of discrimination and conduct which can be considered harassing, coercive, or disruptive, including S.H. Anyone engaging in harassing conduct will be subject to discipline, ranging from a warning to termination.
S.H. is defined as any unwanted physical, verbal or visual sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other sexually oriented conduct which is offensive or objectionable to the recipient, including, but not limited to: epithets, derogatory or suggestive comments, slurs or gestures and offensive posters, cartoons, pictures, or drawings.
When is conduct unwelcome or harassing? Unwelcome sexual advances (either verbal or physical), requests for favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute S.H. when:
- Submission to such conduct is either an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment (e.g., promotion, training, timekeeping or overtime assignments)
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for making employment decisions (hiring, promotion, termination)
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment
What is not S.H.? S.H. does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome, that is personally offensive, that debilitates morale, and that, therefore, interferes with work effectiveness.
Harassment Investigation Guide
Getting the employee to describe the claim:
___Listen to the charge. Don’t make comments like, “You’re overreacting.”
___Acknowledge that bringing a harassment complaint is a difficult thing to do.
___Maintain a professional attitude.
___Gather the facts; don’t be judgmental.
___Ask who, what, when, where, why, and how. Find out if the employee is afraid of retaliation. How does the employee want the problem resolved?
Conducting an investigation of the claim—general rules to follow:
___Investigate immediately. Delaying or extending an investigation can make witness testimony increasingly unreliable.
___Remember that the manner in which the investigation is handled can itself furnish grounds for a hostile environment claim, so carefully document every step.
___Treat all claims seriously—even those that seem frivolous—until you have reason to do otherwise.
___Keep the investigation confidential. Emphasize to those involved that your discussions are not to be shared with unconcerned parties. Warn of possible disciplinary action, if necessary.
___Limit the number of persons who have access to the information. Communicate strictly on a “need to know” basis.
___Ask questions so that information is not unnecessarily disclosed. For example, instead of asking, “Did you see Paul touch Joan?” ask “Have you seen anyone touch Joan at work in a way that made her uncomfortable?” Remember—the purpose of the investigation is to gather facts, not disseminate allegations.
___If there is more than one allegation, treat each separately.
___To avoid defamation liability, never broadcast the facts of a given situation or the results as an example to others or as a training tool.
The Harassment Investigation Guide is the last three pages of the file below free to download, customize and print. The paragraphs above is just a part of this very important guide.
Click on the link to download the sample sexual harassment policies below:
Sexual Harassment Policy Template