New rules to institutions to address sexual assault and harassment cases have been issued. The new policies are going to strengthen the rights of victims and help get support.
Sexual harassment scenarios include:
- Verbal sexual abuse
- Sexual touching or grabbing
- Sexual pranks or repeated sexual teasing, innuendos and jokes in person or via email.
- Giving sexually suggestive gifts or objects
- Unwelcome sexual conducts in a work environment
- Repeatedly brushing against a person in a sexual way
- Persistently making sexually suggestive gestures
- Posting sexually offensive photographs or other material at the workplace.
- Persistently asking a colleague to hang out after work even after they have already indicated that they have no interest
First Line of Defense
Anti-harassment policies are an important first line of defense against workplace harassment. A period harassment training will ensure that the sexual misconduct policies are well understood.
Although the training is not legally required in the majority of the states, it is important because it builds awareness and helps prevent sexual harassment and discrimination.
They Keep Employees Informed
The policies help the employees get informed of the company’s or firm’s procedures for handling sexual harassment claims. This information is very vital as it enables you to navigate through the process without much difficulty.
They Create a Strong Position Against Sexual Misconduct
The sexual misconduct policies usually clearly explain the kind of conduct that is prohibited. They typically state that the organization or the institution will not tolerate harassment based on legally protected status, in this case, sexual.
The prohibition against sexual misconduct in the work environment should indicate the rights of the employees and that the company has zero tolerance towards sexual harassment at the workplace.
It Will Prevent Sexual Harassment
It is a basic human right to be free from sexual harassment. Every citizen is entitled to live and work without being subjected to sexual harassment,
An employer has the onus of maintaining a workplace that is free from sexual harassment. It is important that employers take the necessary steps to provide a positive and safe workplace for their employees.
One of the most efficient ways of doing it is coming up with misconduct policies that are geared towards preventing any form of sexual misconduct by both employers and employees at the workplace.
Promotes Reporting and Immediately Handling of Sexual Misconduct Cases
Sexual misconduct policies have clearly outlined the processes to be involved in handling such cases. Those who are victims will be at liberty to report their claims through the laid out channels as stipulated in the policies. They are also protected legally from acts of retaliation by their abusers and harassers. With that knowledge, they can actively pursue their cases to be dealt with fairly and immediately.
It Creates a Conducive Work Environment
With sexual conduct policies in place, every person in an establishment or a company can go about their business with some level of normalcy. When you are in a work environment where you feel free and safe, you are more likely to be productive and of greater value to the organization.
Stiff Consequences for Would-Be Harassers and Offenders
Those who have been reported as harassers and offenders face very harsh consequences of the allegations or charges leveled against them. Sometimes they could be discharged from duty or demoted or suspended. At other times, the sexual conduct policies will recommend withdrawal of certain benefits.
Since the sexual conduct policies require that both the victim and the offender are known in the environment, there are likely to be situations where the social lives of these two parties get affected. In as much the cases are handled administratively, at the end of the day they are social issues; they are bound to affect the day to day lives of the affected.
To sum it up, sexual misconduct policies are very important in institutions and organizations. How they are applied, and the working around them could make them both beneficial and detrimental to the firm.