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Harassment Enforcement Guides

Periodically, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will release harassment enforcement guides that address ongoing issues and cite best policies to avoid employment claims of harassment. The release provides optimal reminders for employers and human resource managers to review and update their harassment enforcement policies. 

Establishing a Complaint System

One of the most effective ways to address complaints regarding harassment in the workplace is to establish an effective complaint system. Employers and human resource managers should have a strong understanding of situations that can lead to a workplace harassment claim, the legal threshold that an employee must meet in order to prove a claim of this nature and the extent to which the employer can be held liable. Some guidelines to establishing an effective complaint system include:

  • Translate policies into multiple languages

  • Have adequate resources to ensure that all complaints are handled quickly and thoroughly

  • Establish a department that will be responsible for receiving complaints

  • Maintain confidentiality of alleged victims and individuals who report workplace misconduct 

  • Prevent retaliation against individuals who make complaints or participate in the proceedings

  • Develop processes that help resolve the complaint in an effective and thoughtful manner

Workplace Training

An efficient way to ensure that workplace harassment is at a minimum is to provide periodic workplace training regarding harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Continued training ensures that employers and employees are both equipped with the knowledge to identify and reduce the incidence of harassment in the workplace. Guidelines for effective training include:

  • Training is reinforced on a regular basis

  • Training is provided to everyone, including executives and individuals on every level of the company

  • The training is provided in multiple languages

  • The training is revised periodically based on employee feedback

  • The training thoroughly describes harassment, the complaint process and employee rights and responsibilities

Cite this article: Lynch, N. (2017). Harassment Enforcement Guides: