#MeToo Lights Up Facebook Timelines

Sexual HarassmentIs Your Workplace Doing Enough To Protect Your Employees?

“When one fears that nothing will be done or that they will not be taken seriously, sexual harassment can run rampant in an organization.”  


The Canadian Labour code defines sexual harassment as any conduct, comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation to any employee; or that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by that employee as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training or promotion.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome and unwanted, yet 50% of Canadian women say that they have experienced sexual harassment over their careers, making it commonplace. (Insights West) Of the 28% who have reported the harassment, only 46% said that the offending employees were penalized or reprimanded. It is no wonder that there is such a low expectation for significant action…and why the #MeToo campaign took off like wildfire.

So What Should An Employer Do…5 Strategies

Step One: Create A Policy

This policy is essential to starting the conversation around what is appropriate and what is not. It starts the conversation around the grey areas. 30% of respondents to the Insights West survey said that the didn’t report the harassment because they didn’t feel that their employer would do anything about the complaint and 27% feared retaliation.


Step Two: Create Clearly Outlined Procedures

Outline an easy to follow complaint procedure within your Policy. Identify a person or department that will respond to the complaints and how to by-pass their immediate supervisor if they feel that they are not responsive or part of the issue.


Step Three: Train, Train and Deliver More Training

There is a duty to train that the employer MUST follow. Employees and leaders need information and instruction on the content of the policy and the intent of the policy. They need to know the complaint and investigation process. They need to be aware of the levels of corrective action that can be taken.


Step Four:  Respond and Investigate

Act quickly and investigate thoroughly. Any time a complaint of harassment, discrimination or other potential violation is received, either formally or informally, the organization must conduct an investigation. Protect confidentiality as best as you can without impeding the investigation.


Step Five: Report and Record

Inform the complainant and the harasser of any corrective action that has been deemed appropriate once the investigation has been completed. Record the investigation and findings. Identify situations that lead up to the harassment taking place, so as to eliminate the toxic work environment that allowed it to happen. Repeat Step Three. Train on the do’s and don’ts and on how to create a psychologically healthy workplace.


If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!


Do you need someone to work with your organization on developing a resilient culture? If so, Beverly Can Provide This Training. Please feel free to call and discuss the details at: 705-786-0437



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Written by Beverly Beuermann-King

Building Resiliency Through Stress and Wellness Strategies. Stress and resiliency strategist, Beverly Beuermann-King, CSP, translates current research and best practices information into a realistic, accessible and more practical approach through her dynamic stress and wellness workshops, on-line stress and resiliency articles, books, e-briefs and media interviews.

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