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Have you included these three disciplinary sanctions in your sexual harassment policy?

by , 25 November 2013
Sexual harassment in the workplace is under the microscope once again. Reports emerged last week that India's leading investigative news magazine was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal. This after its editor admitted that he sexually assaulted a colleague. The incident has cast the spotlight on sexual harassment in the workplace and the disciplinary measures imposed on perpetrators of sexual harassment. Here are the three disciplinary sanctions you must include in your sexual harassment policy.

According to Straits Times, Tarun Tejpal, founder and editor of Tehelka magazine, wrote to the managing editor of the publication admitting 'misconduct' which he said he must atone for by agreeing to stop working for six months.

Tejpal is alleged to have written the following in an email sent to staff at the magazine: 'A bad lapse of judgement, an awful misreading of the situation, have led to an unfortunate incident that rails against all we believe in and fight for.

Women's right groups have criticised Tejpal's response as insufficient.

As mentioned, the incident has cast the spotlight on sexual harassment in the workplace and the disciplinary measures imposed on perpetrators of sexual harassment.

Seeing as no workplace is immune to sexual harassment; be sure to include these three disciplinary sanctions in your sexual harassment policy.

Three disciplinary sanctions to include in your sexual harassment policy

The Complete Sexual Harassment Advisor says that your sexual harassment policy should specify the range of disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed on a perpetrator.

The Advisor adds that the sanctions must be proportionate to the seriousness of the sexual harassment in question, and should provide that:

#1: Warnings may be issued for minor instances of sexual harassment. For example, a joke with a sexual innuendo or an inappropriate comment which is only mildly offensive.

#2: Dismissal may follow for continued minor instances of sexual harassment after warnings, as well as for serious instances of sexual harassment. After two written warnings, one of which is a final written warning, dismissal may be justified.

#3: In appropriate circumstances, upon being found guilty of sexual harassment, a perpetrator may be transferred to another position in the workplace. This may be possible if you operate in more than one location.

Well there you have it. Having three disciplinary sanctions in your sexual harassment policy will help ensure you deal with sexual harassment effectively.


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