An employer may think that sexual harassment will never become an issue. Even so, there is no way of saying this for sure. It only takes one person to make one bad decision. At that point, there is a big problem that needs to be addressed without delay.
This is why it is important for all companies to take action against sexual harassment before this behavior is ever a problem. Taking the appropriate preventative measures can go a long way in keeping all employees safe in the future.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires that all employers take steps to prevent harassment. They have to do this before an act occurs. Furthermore, some states have their own laws, such as requiring companies to post a sexual harassment prevention notice in the office.
One of the most important aspects of prevention is the creation of a sexual harassment policy. This should include reporting procedures. Going one step further, it is a must for all employees to receive the appropriate information, such as through the distribution of an employee handbook.
In a perfect world, every employer would create a harassment free workplace. In the real world, even though there are laws in place, some companies don’t do this. The reason is simple: they don’t think there is a point since all their employees get along.
If you work for a company without a commitment to preventing sexual harassment, it could come back to harm you or a coworker at some point in the future. Even if there is no formal complaint system in place, a victim should still speak up.
Source: American Bar Association, “The employer’s role in prevention,” accessed Oct. 20, 2015