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What steps can employers take to prevent sexual harassment?

One of the most important aspects of any job is the environment that is created and nurtured by an employer. Most people work hard, and many jobs come with a myriad of stresses. One form of stress that is simply not tolerable is that which is created by sexual harassment. Having to deal with unwanted advances or intimidating acts can make coming into work almost unbearable.

As such, an employer has a duty to provide employees with a work environment that is secure, safe and free of harassment. All employers should be aware of this fact and take preventative steps that can help their employees have the kind of work experience they are entitled to. These steps include the following:

  • Monitoring the work environment. Employees should be asked if they are comfortable in the workplace to make sure it remains free of harassment.
  • Training all employees about what constitutes sexual harassment. There may be some acts that employees are not aware are considered sexual harassment.
  • Producing a set of rules that clearly defines sexual harassment and emphasizes that such conduct will not be tolerated. There should be an explanation of the consequences of harassment as well as instructions on how to file a report.

Perhaps most importantly, employers should let their employees know that it is safe for them to report incidents of sexual harassment. Moreover, employers should also take all reports of sexual harassment seriously. Once a complaint is lodged, a thorough investigation should be conducted.

A good company will take the proper measures to prevent sexual harassment and properly address sexual harassment claims. Unfortunately, not all companies see the wisdom of enforcing rules regarding harassment. Sometimes it's even a supervisor or business owner who is doing the harassing. In such cases, sexual harassment victims may want to discuss their problems with an experienced attorney. An attorney can assess a situation and offer guidance on the possible legal avenues available for resolving the issue.

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