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Two procedures you can use to deal with sexual harassment complaints

by , 02 October 2013
Did you know an employee who's sexually harassed can sue YOU for the damages she* suffers? And this could cost your company millions! Because, as an employer, you're liable for your employees' conduct while they're at work. So it's up to you to action a complaint of sexual harassment!

Use these two procedures to help you...

*Sexual harassment happens to both males and females. In this article we've only referred to females.
 
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Do you have a legally water-tight sexual harassment policy in your workplace?
If not, you'll could be liable and have to pay thousands of rands for damages if an employee claims sexual harassment...
 
Discover how this one tool will help you avoid landing up in trouble at the CCMA.
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Two procedures you can use to deal with sexual harassment complaints
 
Procedure #1: Advice and assistance
Sexual harassment's a sensitive issue. A victim will often feel unable to approach the perpetrator, lodge a formal grievance or even turn to colleagues for support. As far as is practical you, as the employer, should designate someone who isn't a line manager who victims can approach for confidential advice.
 
Procedure #2: Options to resolve a problem
There are two main options to resolve a problem relating to sexual harassment.
  • You can try resolve the problem in an informal way. This means someone will approach the harasser and let him know the conduct isn't welcome; or
  • You can follow a formal procedure. This normally leads to a formal disciplinary inquiry.
 
Don't put pressure on the employee on which process she should follow, let her choose.
 
Keep reading to find out how to deal with informal vs formal procedures.
 
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How to deal with an informal vs formal procedure...
 
Informal procedure
This is when you try to sort out the problem without a grievance, or formal complaint, against the harasser. You can explain to him that his behaviour offends the victim or makes her uncomfortable. It's also interfering with her work.
 
Formal procedure
This is when you try to sort out the problem after the victim lays a grievance against the harasser. If the employee chooses the formal procedure, you need to follow your sexual harassment policy or procedure.
 
Make sure you've crossed all your t's and dotted your i's when it comes to sexual harassment. Get step-by-step advice on how to deal with this type of behaviour in your workplace with The Complete Sexual Harassment Advisor.
 
 
Until next time,
 
Taryn Strugnell
 
P.S. Do you know the four simple steps to get all the labour, HR and Health and Safety forms you need? Click here to find out more...
 


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