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Does your office have a sexual harassment issue?

As an employer, you want your office to be a safe environment. That’s why you’re careful to establish policies on workplace relationships and cultivate a caring environment. Still, you want your employees to be themselves and bring their unique personalities to the table.

What happens when that employee who compliments everyone daily goes from “friendly” to “inappropriate?” There are certain situations in an office setting that may have you wondering if you have an office problem child.

Are others talking?

While sexual harassment laws do not make playful comments illegal, they could become an issue if they’re unwarranted or make someone feel uncomfortable. So how do you know when words cross the line, and what should you do about preventing sexual harassment in the office?

People in an office setting talk. It happens. If your employees are all speaking the same thing, maybe you should take note of the following:

  • Who is talking: If more than one person in the office is complaining about the same person, you could have a problem.
  • What is said: If all complaints are similar, you could be at high risk.

As an employer, you don’t want your office to be a place that ignores sexual harassment. If employees are talking and reporting that one person is making several uncomfortable, you may want to act. Consider the following:

  • Talk to the employee about their behavior
  • Take all complaints serious
  • Protect anonymity
  • Start an investigation

If sexual harassment in the workplace goes unaddressed, there could be severe legal consequences. There are specific steps an employer should take when an employee complains about sexual harassment. 

Suppose you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. In that case, you may want to become familiar with sexual harassment laws to protect yourself at work.