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Harassment Policy

Definition: A written policy specifically stating that harassment will not be tolerated at work

Laws concerning sexual harassment are steadily evolving, and your policies on harassment in the workplace need to keep pace. For example, one recent ruling says that a company without a strong anti-harassment policy is likely to be held liable if one of its supervisors commits sexual harassment against an employee.

Any harassment policy should contain:

  • a definition of harassment
  • a harassment prohibition statement
  • a description of your complaint procedure
  • a description of disciplinary measures
  • a statement of protection against retaliation

Along with gender, race, color, religious beliefs, national origin, age and disability, some jurisdictions also protect employees who are discriminated against on the basis of appearance or sexual orientation. Take note of federal, state and local laws regarding discrimination, and make sure their intent is clearly reflected in your employee policy manual.

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