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How can employers prevent workplace sexual harassment?

As an employee, you expect to have access to a safe work environment. Even so, you know that something could go wrong in the future. For example, you could become the victim of sexual harassment.

From an employer perspective, there are many things a company can do to help prevent workplace sexual harassment:

-- Make it clear to all workers that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.

-- Provide on going education so that every worker has the information they need in regards to sexual harassment.

-- Develop an anti-harassment policy that all employees understand.

-- Communicate this policy to employees, making any future changes known.

-- Don't wait to investigate a complaint of sexual harassment.

-- Discipline any employees who have harassed others.

-- Provide protection to any employee who feels that they have become a victim of workplace sexual harassment.

-- Monitor and make changes to education and policies as needed.

Despite the fact that most employers understand the seriousness of sexual harassment in the workplace, some continue to put this on the backburner because they don't believe it will ever happen in their company.

As a worker, you should never have to feel threatened by another person. If you have been sexually harassed, you have rights and you need to exercise them.

Not only should you tell the person to stop, you shouldn't wait to report the behavior to the HR department. In the end, what matters most is that you do what's best for you. You should never feel that you need to keep quiet.

Source: Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, "Prevention of Sexual Harassment," accessed Oct. 04, 2016

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