Developing A Sexual Harassment Policy For Your Restaurant Business

Developing A Sexual Harassment Policy For Your Restaurant Business

What is sexual harassment?

Definition: Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

It is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.

There are two forms of sexual harassment.

(1) The first is referred to as quid pro quo ("this for that"). In this type of situation, an employer or a supervisor makes unwanted sexual advances or requires a person to exchange sexual favors for some job benefit (for example, being promoted or hired) or to prevent a negative job-related action (for example, being fired or getting a bad evaluation).

(2) A hostile environment . This is when unwanted sexual conduct creates an offensive, uncomfortable, or discriminatory work environment.

To prove a hostile environment case, this type of harassing behavior must be sexual in nature or directed at only one sex. It must also be frequent or repeated and unwelcome. Discrimination based on a person's sex may also be considered sexual harassment even if the discrimination is non-sexual in nature. For example, commenting that a person can't do her job because of her sex may be considered sexual harassment

All employers need to have a sexual harassment policy that they disclose to all employees. It is recommended that each employee read and sign the policy and it be placed in the employee's file.

What to include in the policy

1. Statement that sexual harassment is illegal.

2. A copy of the sexual harassment legal description.

3. Definitions and descriptions of what is prohibited. Such as: ( touching, hugging, inappropriate invitations, obscene phone calls, letters, or e-mails, sexual sneak attacks, soliciting sexual services, exposure of intimate body parts or sexual assault, insisting or requesting that workers wear revealing clothes, pressure for dates, inappropriate gifts, use of sexual innuendo, comments about bodies or physical appearance, brushing sexual parts of the body, leaning over and invading a person's space, sexist and insulting graffiti, sexist jokes and cartoons, and displaying pornography or nude or semi-nude pictures in the workplace, gestures and non-verbal communications such as leering, hooting, sucking, lip-smacking, whistling and animal noises, discussion of sexual matters such as a partner's sexual inadequacies or Prowess, stories of sexual exploitation, and Graphic descriptions of sexual activities)

4. Disciplinary action.

5. A complaint procedure for the victim.

6. An assurance all complaints will be investigated promptly.

7. An assurance that there will be no retaliation for the person who files a complaint. Retaliation against a victim is illegal.

8. Statement of confidentiality - all information on a need-to-know basis only.

9. Addresses, web sites, and telephone numbers of government agencies that handle sexual harassment.

Communicate your policy

1. Review your policy with all employees on a regular basis and discuss the policy with all new employees.

2. Communicate your policy to suppliers and customers.

3. Post a copy of your policy in a visible place.

4. Include the policy in employee handbooks or policy manuals.

5. Supply all employees with a written copy of your policy.

6. Inform employees to whom they should talk if they have

questions about the policy

Employees Should:

1. Treat others in a respectful and professional manner.

2. Let co-workers know when you think their conduct is offensive or inappropriate, even if it's not directed at you.

3. State your expectations clearly and demand that harassing behavior stop.

4. Read the company's policy and procedures on sexual harassment. If you have questions about the policy, find someone who can answer your questions.

5. Hold open discussions about sexual harassment with co-workers and explore the differences between inappropriate and appropriate behavior.

6. Don't assume that what one person sees as funny is necessarily funny to another.

7. Don't be pressured into joining "the gang" in unacceptable behavior.

8. Give support to harassed employees. Remind them that they are not to blame.

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