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Ten Things to Include in Harassment Policies

January 22, 1999
The most effective anti-harassment policies should encompass ten important points. These include:

  1. Adopt (or review and revised) sexual harassment policies that clearly enunciate a "zero tolerance" attitude toward sexual harassment retaliation against complaints of harassment.
  2. Identify all supervisors and make them accountable for compliance with the employer’s policy.
  3. Train all supervisors on sexual harassment prevention.
  4. Train non-supervisory employees on the sexual harassment policy and the procedures to follow if they experience harassment.
  5. Obtain a signed receipt when distributing the policy to employees.
  6. Redistribute the policy periodically (at least annually) and obtain updated receipts.
  7. Instruct appropriate managers on the guidelines for conducting investigations of sexual harassment complaints.
  8. Incorporate the sexual harassment policy into new employee orientation.
  9. Document efforts to prevent and correct harassment and any employee’s failure to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the employer.
  10. Assert the new affirmative defense in pending or future sexual harassment lawsuits.

Source: Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler & Krupman, White Plains, NY, December 14, 1998.