Your Guide to Preventing Sexual Harassment At Work

Our time from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. belongs to others. Our time is shared with customers, clients, coworkers, and colleagues. We don’t always have control over how we spend it – or with whom we spend it. However, sexual harassment in the workplace is something that should always be under our control, regardless of our profession, gender, position, or even the time of day. No one has the time, energy, or patience for workplace sexual misbehavior, and no one should.

Unfortunately, workplace sexual harassment is more common than we’d like to admit. However, there is some good news. Companies in California and other states are increasingly recognizing the necessity of an online sexual harassment prevention training program that covers subjects such as:

  • Harassment and discrimination aimed at both supervisors and non-supervisory
  • Inclusion and diversity.
  • Bias management.
  • Intervention by a bystander

Scared upset woman making stop gesture Free Photo

We understand that employees may find themselves in situations where the line between what is and isn’t suitable is blurred at any given time. Even the best corporate ethics or sexual harassment prevention training won’t be able to prepare everyone for every eventuality. However, sexual harassment awareness and education, particularly in terms of prevention, must begin somewhere. And it has to begin right now.

What is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

Any unsolicited sexual conduct on the job that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment is defined as sexual harassment. The following types of sexual harassment in the workplace are prohibited:

  • Verbal harassment: Making or utilizing insulting remarks, slurs, or jokes.
  • Sexual solicitations or offers are made verbally.
  • Sexually derogatory remarks against customers or coworkers.
  • Explicit sexual language and/or humor.
  • In order to keep their job, they must engage in any form of sexual activity.
  • In order to keep their job, they must engage in any form of sexual activity.
  • Leering, making sexual gestures, presenting suggestive objects or photographs, cartoons, or posters.
  • Movements that are touched, assaulted, impeded, or blocked.
  • Providing job benefits in exchange for sexual favors.
  • Making or threatening retaliation in response to a negative response to sexual advances.

Anyone can be a harasser or be sexually harassed, but neither should be the case.

Legally Speaking, Who Is Liable for What?

In most situations of sexual harassment, employers are held liable. Every state has its own set of statutes and regulations surrounding workplace discrimination and sexual harassment, but as a general rule, these are some generally promoted criteria that businesses should follow:

  • Employers must take all necessary precautions to avoid discrimination and harassment.
  • Employers are required to put a poster provided by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing somewhere in the workplace (i.e. break room, above the copier, restroom).
  • Employers must assist in ensuring a sexually harassment-free workplace by providing employees with sexual harassment awareness information, such as:
    • Sexual harassment is illegal.
    • The legal definition of sexual harassment is defined by state and federal statutes.
    • A description of sexual harassment, as well as examples.
    • The employee has access to the employer’s internal complaint mechanism.
    • Outside agencies’ legal remedies and complaint procedures, as well as contact information for those agencies.
    • The retaliation safeguards are accessible.

Ways to Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

1) Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Implementing an online sexual harassment prevention training program is the most practical strategy to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. A well-designed training program can be a strong first step toward preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, or, at the very least, minimizing damage if harassment occurs despite your best prevention efforts.

The overall goal of any sexual harassment prevention training is to ensure that your entire workforce is on the same page when it comes to harassment. After all, fighting sexual misbehavior in the workplace is much easier when everyone is on the same page. Employees are more likely to feel comfortable and safe at work if they understand what is expected of them — and what is expected of management in return. A happy employee will also benefit the general morale and cohesiveness of your firm, as well as your finances.

Because not all sexual harassment prevention training courses are made equal, what should you bear in mind when adopting one in your organization? Here are a couple of ideas:

Illustrate your point

Including examples and pictures in your sexual harassment awareness training will accomplish the following:

  • Allow employees to concentrate on the substance rather than on out-of-date or cheesy performance.
  • Create more customizable choices. For example, you can provide culturally relevant, branded training that is in line with your company’s culture.
  • Make it easier to update material on a regular basis and keep it compliant with state standards.


At least once a year, every organization should conduct an online sexual harassment prevention training course for all employees. Your staff should be able to answer questions like these at the end of your workshop:

  • What exactly is workplace sexual harassment?
  • What are the rights of employees?
  • What is the company’s complaint procedure, and how do you go about following it?

Supervisory and management training sessions should be held separately from non-supervisory training sessions. They should be required at least once a year to train managers and supervisors on sexual harassment and how to deal with complaints as a supervisor.


tyle=”text-align: justify;”>All of your training materials should reflect your company’s identity and tone. A huge industrial factory may not confront the same concerns and challenges as a corporate environment. Information will be processed differently by millennials and baby boomers. If you work for a multinational corporation, there may be nuances that get lost in translation if you’re not careful. If employees can relate to the information and examples presented in sexual harassment prevention training, they are more likely to comprehend what is required of them.

2) Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure

An official complaint mechanism is another crucial component for preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Employees should be informed about the sexual harassment complaint system, and they should be encouraged to report any unwelcome or inappropriate behavior. Once a complaint has been lodged, it is the employer’s responsibility — and culpability — to take prompt and reasonable measures to end the harassment.

These steps could include the following:-

  • Providing the complaint with a complete understanding of his or her rights.
  • Investigate the claim thoroughly and effectively.
  • If harassment is confirmed, immediate and effective retaliation is required.

3) Awareness

Finally, leadership must be seen rather than merely heard. Employees will develop a favorable impression of upper management as approachable and familiar as a result of your presence in the workplace, and they will be aware that you are watching them. This will help you to keep an eye on things that you may not be able to see or hear while your door is closed. Do you notice any symptoms of workplace wrongdoing or a hostile work environment? Is there any verbal harassment going on at work? Maintain open channels of communication with your staff by asking for their thoughts, ideas, and suggestions on how to improve the workplace on a regular basis.