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What do employers need to know about sexual harassment?

It's every Cincinnati employer's legal responsibility to do everything they can to prevent workplace sexual harassment. When drafting workplace policies, creating sexual harassment education materials and enforcing these policies, here are a few things that employers should consider:

  • Sexual harassment happens between men and women, women and women and men and men. Gender is irrelevant. Anyone can become a victim of this type of abuse.
  • A harasser could be anyone, including vendors and customers. Employers must protect their employees from harassment by any person affiliated or transacting with the business.
  • Sexual harassment victims include the victims themselves and employees who witnessed the behavior. Anyone can be negatively affected and injured by the abuse, even those who are not the direct targets.
  • Inform employees to call out harassers and tell them to stop and that the behaviors and actions are unwelcome.
  • Make sure that all employees understand the procedures for reporting sexual harassment. Make these procedures as easy as possible for employees.
  • Help employees understand that they will never be retaliated against for reporting sexual harassment.
  • If an employee experiences mistreatment or harassment by a fellow employee and that employee retaliates against them for telling him or her to stop, or for reporting the abuse, the harassed employees need to know that they should immediately report the retaliation to the appropriate person.

Were you sexually harassed while at work in Cincinnati? Even if you're not sure whether you were sexually harassed or not, you might want to consider discussing the issue with the appropriate person at your workplace. Furthermore, you may want to review your legal rights and options available to victims of such abuse.

Source: The Balance, "Sexual Harassment," Susan M. Heathfield, accessed March 16, 2018

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