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Establishing an Anti-Harassment Policy

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has established general guidelines that employers should include when establishing an anti-harassment policy:

  • Appropriate remedies to complaints of sexual harassment should be implemented immediately and should be reasonably calculated to end the harassment.
  • Merely requesting that a worker refrain from harassing conduct is not sufficient to avoid liability.
  • Employers have the duty to express strong disapproval of sexual harassment and to develop appropriate sanctions. The employer’s action is “appropriate” when it fully remedies the conduct without adversely affecting the terms and conditions of the victim’s employment in some way (such as requiring the victim to relocate to a less desirable work location).
  • Punishments that do not take into account the need to maintain a harassment-free workplace may subject an employer to a suit by the EEOC.
  • Employers may have to remove employees who have engaged in particularly severe or pervasive harassment from the workplace if their mere presence would render the working environment hostile.