How Can You Stop Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment comes in two forms. Quid Pro Quo Harassment involves a supervisor asking a subordinate for sexual favors in exchange for work benefits or a supervisor threatening the loss of work benefits. Work benefits could be a promotion, better job duties, time off, longer breaks, better pay or any work related gain. Hostile work environment involves any gender based unwelcome conduct.

Hostile Work Environment Harassment could be perpetrated by a co-worker or manager. An example of this type of harassment would be unwelcome dirty jokes or pictures posted by email or sexually inappropriate talk. The best way to stop sexual harassment is to provide a proper sexual harassment prevention training to all the employees and managers. You can also immediately tell the perpetrator that their behavior is unacceptable. In the vast majority of cases, this is enough to stop the conduct.

In the case of Hostile Workplace Environment Harassment many times the perpetrator does not even know that they are offending the victim. Once they know that their conduct was unwelcome they will stop the behavior. However, this is not always the case and more serious steps may need to be taken.

If the behavior continues after your warning, the next step is to inform the supervisor or to directly contact human resources. If the perpetrator is the supervisor then the human resources or the supervisor’s supervisor should be contacted. Most large organizations have a mechanism in Human Resources for taking sexual harassment claims; however many times the aggrieved employee simply wants the harassment to stop.