Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment in the Federal OR Private Sector - Your HelpDesk for HR (2023)

Hey Compliance Warriors!

The EEOC has issued a document called “Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment in the Federal Sector”. After reading through this document it occurs to me that these practices also apply to the private sector. So, I wanted to share this guide with everyone so you can determine if you are already working on these best practices in your organization OR if you may need to take a look at your anti-harassment practices. Download this document as a PDF file.

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Each section of this document provides a list of relevant requirements and recommendations. Some practices may apply to multiple sections and may be listed more than once.

A. Leadership and Accountability

  • Ensure the agency has an anti-harassment program that is separate and distinct from the EEO program. This anti-harassment program should have neutral staff outside of the entity involved in the allegation who are responsible for promptly, thoroughly, and impartially investigating allegations of harassment and taking immediate and appropriate corrective action.
  • Ensure the agency has sufficient funding, personnel, and other resources to help prevent and respond to harassment and retaliation.
  • Ensure that investigations of harassment allegations begin within 10 calendar days of receipt of harassment allegations.

The following are examples of promising practices that the EEOC recommends federal agency heads and senior agency leadership also undertake to demonstrate a commitment to preventing and addressing harassment:

  • Issue and distribute to all employees, and prominently post, an annual anti-harassment policy statement signed by the agency head stating that harassment will not be tolerated, the type of conduct that is prohibited, how to report harassment, and the consequences of engaging in harassment and retaliation.The statement should be posted in an electronic, accessible form readily available to all employees (including those with disabilities) at all component and sub-component levels
  • Ensure anti-harassment policy statements refer and link to the agency’s anti-harassment policy and procedures.
  • Periodically meet with their relevant designated officials, such as Anti-Harassment Program Coordinators or Managers, to discuss the state of the agency’s anti-harassment program.
  • Ensure the agency periodically assesses harassment risk factors and takes appropriate preemptive steps to address and eliminate those factors.
  • Incorporate anti-harassment efforts into the agency’s strategic plan.
  • Conduct climate and exit surveys as well as review EEO complaint data to gauge the prevalence of harassment, retaliation, and other unwelcome work-related conduct. This can help the agency identify appropriate responses.
  • Consider whether/when to allow anonymous communications on organizational platforms.
  • Ensure the security of virtual platforms, organizational websites, and online services. This may help prevent outside attacks and intrusion that could result not only in harassment, but also in the potential breach of confidential information.

To help prevent and address harassment, agency leaders should consider undertaking the following actions to increase accountability in their anti-harassment efforts among managers, supervisors, EEO officials, and employees in general:

  • Implement agency-wide, consistent penalties or recommended penalty ranges to be used in disciplinary actions for harassing conduct, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Ensure that anti-harassment policies and training include the range of penalties that may be imposed on any employee who engages in harassing conduct or harassment.
  • Ensure that anti-harassment policies clearly set forth who is responsible for taking corrective action when allegations have been substantiated and an individual has been found to have engaged in conduct that violates an agency’s anti-harassment policy.
  • Ensure that the agency’s response to anti-harassment allegations is regularly evaluated and documented through an electronic tracking system.
  • Acknowledge and reward employees, supervisors, and managers for creating and maintaining a culture in which harassment is not tolerated.
  • Acknowledge and reward supervisors and managers for taking actions that prevent harassment.
  • Consider the extent to which agency personnel should be ineligible for promotions or performance awards when they are found to have violated an agency’s anti-harassment policy.
  • Consider the extent to which agency personnel should be ineligible to serve in a supervisory or managerial capacity when they are found to have violated an agency’s anti-harassment policy.
  • Incorporate performance measures on harassment prevention and response into the performance evaluations of any agency staff with supervisory or managerial responsibilities.

B. Comprehensive and Effective Anti-Harassment Policy

A comprehensive, clear anti-harassment policy that is regularly disseminated to all employees is an essential element of an effective harassment prevention strategy, as well as a tool that may help limit federal agencies’ liability for harassment. Your policy should include:

  • A clear, easy to understand explanation of prohibited conduct that includes the definition of prohibited harassment.
  • A prohibition against harassment on all federal EEO protected bases, including race, color, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy), national origin, religion, disability, age (40 years or older), genetic information (including family medical history), and retaliation.
  • A description of the agency’s anti-harassment program that includes multiple channels to report harassment, including to agency officials outside the supervisory chain of command.
  • Assurance that employees who engage in protected activity, such as making complaints of harassment or providing information related to such complaints, will be protected against retaliation.
  • Assurance that the agency will take corrective action to prevent or address harassing conduct before it becomes unlawful.
  • Assurance that agency representatives will keep the identity of individuals who report harassment, alleged victims, witnesses, and alleged harassers (as well as information related to harassment investigations) confidential to the extent possible, consistent with legal obligations and the need to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation.
  • Assurance that the agency will conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation of harassment allegations that begins within 10 calendar days of the agency becoming aware of such allegations.
  • Assurance that the agency will take immediate and appropriate corrective action when harassment is found to have occurred.

To make anti-harassment policies as comprehensive and effective as possible, the EEOC recommends implementing additional promising practices, including the following:

  • Explicit assurance that the policy applies to employees at every level of the agency, as well as to applicants.
  • Assurance that the agency’s policy also prohibits unwelcome conduct on non-EEO bases (e.g., political affiliation, parental status, marital status) and an explanation about how to report such conduct, in addition to conduct related to EEO protected bases.
  • Assurance that bullying, intimidation, and stalking will not be tolerated by the agency.
  • An easy-to-understand description of prohibited conduct that includes practical examples of harassment that are tailored to the agency’s specific workplace and workforce.
  • Discussion of how the agency’s anti-harassment policy may be violated through work-related conduct that occurs on virtual platforms, including social media.
  • An explanation that the use of agency-issued devices, such as laptops and cell phones, to engage in online harassment and abuse, including sexual harassment or racial harassment, among other types of harassment, communicated through email, work-based chat/messaging platforms, and text messaging and phone calls will not be tolerated.
  • Specific discussion of technology-facilitated gender based-violence and online harassment and abuse.
  • A clear explanation of the distinction between the EEO process and the agency’s anti-harassment program, and an explanation that, pursuant to 29 CFR § 1614.105, the job applicant or employee must generally initiate contact with an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of the most recent harassing actions to begin the EEO complaint process, regardless of the processing of the matter through the anti-harassment program.
  • Identification of the personnel or office responsible for conducting investigations.
  • Identification of the personnel or office responsible for taking corrective action when harassment is found to have occurred.
  • An explanation of the agency’s duty to investigate and correct harassment, even if alleged victims indicate they do not want the matter investigated or corrected.
  • A general time limit for concluding investigations and taking immediate and appropriate corrective action.
  • Standards and procedures for eliminating conflicts of interest in investigating harassment allegations and taking corrective actions.
  • Guidance on the processes and procedures for addressing harassment allegations involving non-employees, such as contractors, guests, volunteers, or customers.
  • A statement that managers and supervisors must report harassment to agency anti-harassment programs and officials, and employees are encouraged to promptly report harassment they witness or of which they otherwise become aware.

To help enhance their effectiveness as part of efforts to prevent and correct harassment, agencies’ anti-harassment policies should be widely disseminated to employees.This may be accomplished if the policies are:

  • Written and disseminated in a clear, easy-to-understand style that uses plain English.
  • Made available onsite and online in accessible formats (as needed), such as digital formats that are compatible with screen reading software, large font, braille, and languages commonly used by employees.
  • Posted prominently on the agency’s intranet website as well as central locations in the workplace.
  • Incorporated into employee handbooks.
  • Provided to all employees upon hire or detail into the agency.
  • Disseminated regularly to all staff, including through attachment to the agency’s annual anti-harassment policy statement.
  • Periodically reviewed and updated as needed to incorporate legal developments, trends in harassment, and changes in procedures.
  • Integrated into a variety of agency trainings, including anti-harassment training, supervisory training, new employee orientation, and intern training.

C. Effective and Accessible Anti-Harassment Program

To be effective, agency anti-harassment policies should not exist in a vacuum. Instead, they must be accompanied by reporting and complaint procedures to ensure the agency properly responds to harassment allegations. Toward that goal, federal agencies should have comprehensive anti-harassment programs that are dedicated to preventing harassment; promptly, thoroughly, and impartially investigating harassment allegations; and immediately and appropriately correcting harassment when it occurs. First, and foremost, this means agencies must focus on ensuring that all of their employees, particularly supervisors, managers, and those responsible for investigating harassment complaints, understand the agency’s anti-harassment procedures and know how to promptly and effectively identify, report, and address harassment.

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To help prevent unlawful harassment, an effective anti-harassment program should, among other things:

  • Allow for anonymous reporting of harassment through platforms, such as hotlines and websites. In providing multiple avenues and methods to report harassment beyond the supervisory chain-of-command, the program should also consider using portals, ombudspersons, human resources officials, and anti-harassment program personnel.
  • Dispel the assumption that nothing can be done about anonymous harassment that occurs on the employer’s virtual network. Employers may be able to track down the identity of individuals who engage in harassment anonymously (for example, anonymously posting sexually or racially offensive comments or images during a virtual work meeting) on the employer’s network.
  • Regularly inform senior leadership of the state of the agency’s anti-harassment program, including funding or other resources needed, to ensure that the program can respond promptly, thoroughly, and effectively to complaints.
  • Ensure that reports of harassment or harassing conduct are well-documented through a complaint tracking system. This tracking system may be designed, for example, to record when the agency was notified of harassment allegations, the identity of the alleged harasser, details about the alleged harassment, the EEO bases involved, the dates of the alleged harassment or harassing conduct, when the investigation of allegations began and concluded, the identity of the investigator, whether harassment or harassing conduct was found to have occurred, any preventative or corrective action taken, and the identity of the person responsible for taking corrective action.
  • Engage in trend analysis of harassment complaints data and conduct and analyze regular surveys, such as workplace climate assessments.
  • Provide education to employees and managers, including information about the distinction between the Anti-Harassment Program and the EEO Program.

When an agency becomes aware of potential harassment or harassing conduct, the EEOC requires the agency to undertake the following actions:

  • Conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation that begins within 10 calendar days of agency awareness of the allegations and take corrective action immediately when it is determined harassment or harassing conduct occurred.
  • Conduct investigative interviews with the alleged victim, the alleged harasser, and third parties who could reasonably be expected to have relevant information.
  • Ensure investigations are not conducted by individuals who have a conflict of interest or bias in the matter.
  • Protect the confidentiality of alleged victims, individuals who report harassment, witnesses, alleged harassers, and other relevant individuals to the extent possible, consistent with a thorough investigation and with relevant legal requirements.
  • Ensure that corrective actions do not retaliate against or penalize the alleged victim.
  • Take corrective action (including discipline) that is proportionate to the severity of the conduct, the impact on the overall workplace, the disciplinary history of the harasser, and other relevant factors.
  • Ensure the anti-harassment program is made aware of harassment claims involving EEO-protected bases that are raised during the EEO counseling process.

Additional promising practices that agencies that become aware of potential harassment or harassing conduct allegations should undertake include, for example:

  • Issuing a written report documenting the investigation, findings, and recommendations, whether or not the employee chooses to file a formal complaint.
  • When appropriate, including interim actions to prevent the recurrence of any harassing conduct during the investigation of allegations and prior to any effectuation of corrective actions.
  • Conveying the outcome of the investigation (i.e.whether the allegations were substantiated and/or the policy found to have been violated) to the alleged victim and the alleged harasser, as well as the preventative and corrective action taken, where appropriate and consistent with relevant legal requirements.
  • Using tailored training, letters of warning, and counseling to address unwelcome conduct before it becomes unlawful or serious enough to warrant more significant disciplinary action.
  • Providing additional training to workplaces with widespread harassment that involves more than one harasser or victim.

D. Effective Anti-Harassment Training

To help prevent and properly address harassment, employees and management must be aware of what conduct is prohibited and how to prevent and correct it. In addition to anti-harassment policies, training conveys this information to agency employees.

EEOC requires that federal agency anti-harassment training:

  • Must be provided periodically to non-supervisory employees as well as supervisors and managers at all levels of the agency.
  • Must be sufficiently funded and resourced.
  • Must be accessible to all employees, including through the provision of reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities.
  • Must include a clear, plain language definition of unlawful harassment and prohibited unwelcome conduct.
  • Must include an explanation, including examples, that harassment is prohibited on the bases of race, color, sex (including sexual orientation, pregnancy, and gender identity), national origin, religion, disability, age (40 years or older), genetic information, and in retaliation for protected EEO activity.
  • Must encourage employees to report unwelcome conduct before it rises to the level of unlawful harassment or becomes severe or pervasive.
  • Must include details on how to report alleged harassment in accordance with agency policies and procedures.
  • Must include examples of disability-based harassment.

The effectiveness of anti-harassment training will be enhanced if it is, among other things:

  • Championed by senior leaders.
  • Regularly revised and updated as needed.
  • Tailored to the specific workforce and workplace and includes examples relevant to the specific workplace setting.
  • Followed by solicitation of feedback and input from participants to improve its effectiveness.
  • Provided by trainers who are experts in the topic of harassment.
  • Developed using relevant social science research on harassment and retaliation.
  • Routinely analyzed to measure its impact on reducing harassment and retaliation in the agency.
  • Conducted (virtually or in-person) in smaller groups that foster more employee engagement and participation.

Agencies have wide latitude to tailor anti-harassment training and information to their specific workforces. However, effective anti-harassment training should contain certain content that is specifically directed at non-supervisory or non-managerial employees, including:

  • Live, interactive discussions that allow attendees to participate and present questions and concerns to trainers.
  • The use of language and concepts common to the agency.
  • Multiple real-world examples and scenarios of harassment tailored to the agency’s specific workplace and workforce, rather than excessive focus on legal definitions or case law.
  • Information about harassment or harassing conduct in remote environments. For example, such information may include:
    • Examples of prohibited harassment in a remote or virtual work environment.
    • Any changes to the reporting or investigation process as a result of remote or virtual work (for example, if reports were submitted in-person pre-pandemic, explain how remote workers can report harassment).
  • The range of consequences for engaging in harassing conduct or unwelcome conduct that violates anti-harassment policies.
  • An emphasis on the agency’s prohibition on retaliation for engaging in protected activity, such as reporting harassment or participating in investigations.
  • Contact information for the individual(s) and/or office(s) responsible for addressing harassment questions, concerns, and complaints.
  • Periodic informal sharing of information about the harassment policy and complaint procedures with staff (for example, during team meetings; in advance of events in which issues may arise, such as virtual or in-person social gatherings; or in response to high-profile current events or social movements).Training does not need to be limited to formal sessions.
  • The posting of anti-harassment training materials on internal agency websites so that employees can readily access training content at any time.
  • The use of workplace training focused on creating a culture of respect in the workplace and bystander intervention training as tools to help prevent unwelcome conduct from escalating to the level of unlawful harassment.
  • A clear explanation of the distinction between the EEO process and the agency’s anti-harassment program. This would include an explanation that, pursuant to 29 CFR §1614.105, the job applicant or employee generally must initiate contact with an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of the most recent harassing actions to begin the EEO complaint process, regardless of the processing of the matter through the anti-harassment program.

In order to help avoid chilling discussions among employees (and because supervisors and managers have specific responsibilities to prevent and correct harassment), agencies may consider having supervisors, managers, and other senior officials receive separate and distinct anti-harassment training that is tailored to address those responsibilities. Effective harassment training for supervisors and managers may include, for example:

  • Information regarding agencies’ responsibility to prevent and correct harassment.
  • Specific information about what supervisors and managers should do in accordance with the agency’s anti-harassment policy and procedures when they become aware of harassment allegations or harassing conduct.
  • Reminders that supervisors and managers have a responsibility to report harassing conduct they become aware of, even if the employee who experiences the harassment does not want to report it.
  • Reminders that supervisors and managers are expected to report, at an appropriate level, whenever conduct is inappropriate, even if it has not yet become severe or pervasive.
  • Reminders that agency officials who receive information about harassment allegations should keep that information confidential to the extent possible consistent with legal obligations and a thorough and impartial investigation.
  • Potential risk factors for harassment and any actions that may be undertaken to minimize or eliminate those risks.
  • Reminders that retaliation against employees who engage in protected activity, such as reporting alleged harassment or participating in harassment investigations, is strictly prohibited.
  • Information about how to monitor for online harassment, including in a virtual work environment. For example, suggest that supervisors and managers:
    • In individual meetings with staff, ask how employees are doing, if they have any concerns, and remind them where to find workplace policies and reporting procedures.
    • Include questions about online harassment and abuse and technology-facilitated violence based on gender and/or other protected bases (e.g.cyberstalking, online sexual harassment, the non-consensual distribution of intimate images or threat to distribute an image) in anonymous climate surveys.
    • Be aware of online discussions in virtual meetings or events and respond appropriately to harassing comments or conduct.
  • Specific consequences for managers and supervisors who engage in harassment, retaliation, and discrimination.
  • Specific consequences for managers and supervisors who do not properly report harassment allegations or harassing conduct of which they become aware.
  • An invitation for managers and supervisors to provide feedback and input that will assist the agency in providing effective anti-harassment training.
  • Trauma-informed training for all personnel who may receive or respond to allegations of harassment or harassing conduct.

If you follow this guidance – no matter what sort of employer you are or industry you are part of – your anti-harassment program will be strengthened to a point that is highly defensible if ever called into question.

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Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment in the Federal OR Private Sector - Your HelpDesk for HR (1)

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What can HR do to prevent harassment? ›

You can prevent harassment by:
  1. Informing employees that harassment is prohibited;
  2. Identifying who employees should contact to discuss harassment questions or concerns;
  3. Assuring employees that they will not be punished for asking questions or sharing their concerns;

What are four strategies you can use to stop harassment? ›

4 Strategies to Prevent Workplace Sexual Harassment
  • Adopt a Sexual Harassment Policy.
  • Train Your Organization.
  • Take All Complaints Seriously.
  • Monitor Your Workplace.

What is the best tool to eliminate harassment in the workplace according to the EEOC? ›

Prevention is the best tool to eliminate harassment in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to take appropriate steps to prevent and correct unlawful harassment. They should clearly communicate to employees that unwelcome harassing conduct will not be tolerated.

What are three important elements to include in your anti harassment policy? ›

A clearly described complaint process that provides accessible avenues for complainants; Assurance that employer will protect the confidentiality of the individuals bringing harassment claims to the extent possible; A complaint process that provides a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation; and.

How should a HR manager handle harassment? ›

Some options to explore for addressing the conduct of a harasser and preventing future harassment include: imposing discipline or corrective action; reassignment; demotion; or requiring harassers to attend specific training or counseling sessions. The goal is to make the harassing behavior stop.

What are the 5 D's to stop harassment? ›

Hollaback's "5 D's" (Direct, Distract, Delay, Delegate, Document) are different methods that bystanders can use to support someone who is being harassed, emphasize that harassment is not okay, and demonstrate to people in your life that they too have the power to make our communities and workplaces safer.

What are three practices that you can implement to proactively create a harassment free environment? ›

5 Ways to Build a More Respectful and Harassment-Free Workplace Culture
  • Set a strong tone from the top. ...
  • Develop an anti-harassment policy. ...
  • Implement an internal complaint process. ...
  • Conduct regular, interactive training. ...
  • Promote diversity and inclusion.

How can we prevent hostile work environment? ›

4 ways to prevent a hostile work environment
  1. Create a zero-tolerance policy. By creating a zero-tolerance policy, you're showing your employees you care. ...
  2. Train and educate your employees — often. ...
  3. Address culture across the workforce. ...
  4. Take action.
Feb 7, 2022

What 3 factors determine workplace harassment? ›

whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with work performance; the effect on the employee's psychological well-being; and. whether the harasser was a superior within the organization.

What is anti harassment policy in the workplace? ›

California law (called the Fair Employment and Housing Act or FEHA) prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation. The law also requires that employers “take reasonable steps to prevent and correct wrongful (harassing, discriminatory, retaliatory) behavior in the workplace (Cal. Govt. Code §12940(k)).

What makes a good harassment policy? ›

State that you will protect the confidentiality of employees who report harassment or participate in a harassment investigation, to the greatest possible extent. State that employees will not be punished for reporting harassment or participating in a harassment investigation or lawsuit.

What three 3 things does OSHA require to help prevent workplace violence? ›

(1) Management commitment and employee participation, (2) Worksite analysis, (3) Hazard prevention and control, (4) Safety and health training, and (5) Recordkeeping and program evaluation.

What should a harassment prevention program include? ›

The Harassment Prevention Program (HPP) requires that immediate and appropriate corrective actions are taken to eliminate harassing conduct regardless of whether the conduct violated the law or whether an employee pursues an EEO complaint.

What is the role of HR in harassment? ›

HR's responsibility in case of workplace harassment. It is HR's role to mediate between the complainant and the accused. Get both sides of the incident. Provide comfort to the employee who was harassed, and give the accused a chance to explain themselves.

Can a HR help with harassment? ›

Don't Hesitate to Contact your HR Department

The worst thing you can do is wait to contact your HR department and let your harasser continue their behavior. Harassment is unacceptable in any setting and should be reported right away. Human resources are there to help you feel safe and comfortable in the workplace.

How do HR handle conflict in the workplace? ›

How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace
  1. Talk with the other person. ...
  2. Focus on behavior and events, not on personalities. ...
  3. Listen carefully. ...
  4. Identify points of agreement and disagreement. ...
  5. Prioritize the areas of conflict. ...
  6. Develop a plan to work on each conflict. ...
  7. Follow through on your plan. ...
  8. Build on your success.
Jan 5, 2018

What is a hostile work environment for federal employees? ›

The federal government defines a hostile work environment as a workplace in which an employee feels threatened or harassed by the words and actions of a coworker or manager. This can include mental, physical, or sexual intimidation.

What is a hostile work environment for federal government employees? ›

The EEOC on a Hostile Work Environment

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the legal requirements for a hostile work environment are: Actions or behavior that discriminates against a protected classification such as age, race, religion, sex, or disability.

Should I go to HR about hostile work environment? ›

But if you feel intimidated, you should go directly to a supervisor or your company's HR department. After you report discrimination or other hostile behavior to your leader, it's the employer's responsibility to address the problem and make sure it gets resolved quickly.

What are 3 examples that are not harassment? ›

9 Examples in the Workplace that are NOT Harassment
  • The one-off inappropriate joke or remark. One sexual joke or lewd remark once ever is not illegal. ...
  • Consensual behavior. ...
  • Playing favorites. ...
  • Boss yelling at you for no reason. ...
  • Extra work assignments. ...
  • Work process correction. ...
  • Not a legally protected class. ...
  • Repeat urine tests.
Feb 6, 2018

What is the DOD definition of harassment? ›


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, defines harassment as unwelcome conduct based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information.

What is the most important part of a prevention program for workplace harassment? ›

Discrimination & Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors. The most effective way to a prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace is to empower your supervisors. Give them the tools they need to identify warning signs and follow the proper protocols.

What guidelines should a supervisor follow to create and maintain a harassment-free workplace? ›

Here are six important measures to take in order to create a harassment-free workplace.
  • Establish Anti-harassment Policies. ...
  • Provide Appropriate Training. ...
  • Encourage Open Communication. ...
  • Develop an Internal Complaints Process. ...
  • Take Prompt Action. ...
  • Get Feedback. ...
  • About the Author.

What are the ways of dealing with harassment? ›

How to Help Someone Being Harassed
  • Make it known that you see what is happening. ...
  • Talk to the person being harassed. ...
  • Respond directly. ...
  • Make suggestions, not demands. ...
  • Evaluate for safety. ...
  • Document the situation. ...
  • Report the incident. ...
  • Check in.
Sep 7, 2021

What are three 3 effective disciplinary actions used by human resource against employees in an organization? ›

When an employee must be disciplined, typically these steps are followed: Verbal counselling. Written warning. Suspension without pay.

What are the two main types of workplace harassment? ›

The two most common forms are described as quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment:
  • Quid pro quo harassment. ...
  • Hostile work environment harassment.

What is the most important factor for preventing workplace violence? ›

Effective communication is a key factor in preventing workplace violence. If your employees have access to a workplace communication network, it can help them understand, recognize and report the early signs of potential violence, rather than passively sweeping them under the rug in favor of getting back to work.

How do I talk to HR about a toxic environment? ›

Addressing the situation with your manager: Your first step in dealing with a toxic work environment is to bring it up to your manager. Instead of making accusations, share a couple of specific examples of the hostility you're facing. Propose a solution, like adjusting the scope of your role or someone else's.

How do you calm a hostile employee? ›

How to deal with difficult employees: helpful tips
  1. Focus on Behavior and Not Personality Traits. ...
  2. Get to the Root of the Problem. ...
  3. Welcome Feedback. ...
  4. Provide Clear Instructions. ...
  5. Outline Expectations and Consequences. ...
  6. Monitor Workers' Progress. ...
  7. Be Proactive. ...
  8. Be Respectful and Stay Calm.
Aug 4, 2022

How do you fix a toxic work environment as an employee? ›

Here are ten methods for fixing a toxic work environment and building a more positive work environment:
  1. Engage with Employees in Positive Ways. ...
  2. Create a Safe Space for Healthy Discussions. ...
  3. Lead by Example. ...
  4. Express Gratitude for Your Staff Members. ...
  5. Tap into the Unique Strengths of Each Team Member.

What not to say in an HR investigation? ›

Resist the urge to exaggerate or speculate.

It's critical that you don't do that, because the moment it's proven that you exaggerated one thing, the investigator will be skeptical about everything else you say during your interview.

What are two strategies you could use to discourage harassment in your workplace? ›

You can prevent harassment by:
  • Informing employees that harassment is prohibited;
  • Identifying who employees should contact to discuss harassment questions or concerns;
  • Assuring employees that they will not be punished for asking questions or sharing their concerns;

What is the HR policy for discrimination? ›

Pay And Benefits

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee in the payment of wages or employee benefits on the bases of race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

What are examples of prohibited harassment in the workplace? ›

Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual's body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or ...

How do I create an anti harassment policy? ›

Tips for writing and applying your anti-harassment policy
  1. Explain the prohibited conduct thoroughly. ...
  2. Take online/remote harassment into consideration. ...
  3. Investigate and document all claims. ...
  4. Ensure confidentiality and protection from reprisal. ...
  5. Be consistent in applying your policy. ...
  6. Follow up.

What are five types of Behaviour that could constitute such harassment? ›

Some workplace conduct is clearly sexual harassment—for example, unwanted kissing, touching of breasts or genitals, butt slapping, rape, other forms of sexual assault, requests for sexual favors, making sexually explicit comments, uninvited massages, sexually suggestive gestures, catcalls, ogling, or cornering someone ...

What are the five elements of an effective workplace violence prevention program? ›

OSHA's five major elements of an effective workplace violence prevention program are:
  • Management commitment and employee involvement;
  • Worksite analysis;
  • Hazard prevention and control;
  • Safety and health training;
  • Recordkeeping and program evaluation.

What are OSHA's three steps to fall prevention? ›

Welcome to OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign
  • PLAN ahead to get the job done safely. When working from heights, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. ...
  • PROVIDE the right equipment. ...
  • TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely.

What are the 4 major components recommended by OSHA? ›

The four factors OSHA recommends include management commitment and employee involvement, worksite safety analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training.

What does the EEOC recommend anti-harassment policy include? ›

The laws enforced by EEOC prohibit workplace harassment because of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), religion, disability, age (age 40 or older), or genetic information.

What are 3 benefits of being aware of and taking steps to prevent workplace harassment? ›

The Californian government sees the importance of anti-harassment training in the workplace.
Conducting a harassment training serves the following purposes:
  • Prevention. It takes a single harassment case to destroy a working relationship forever. ...
  • Promotes Inclusivity. ...
  • It serves as an Affirmative Defense.
Jul 15, 2018

What can HR do to prevent discrimination in the workplace? ›

How You Can Stop Discrimination In The Workplace
  1. Develop a written policy that defines procedures and rules. ...
  2. Educate all your workers about discrimination. ...
  3. Consider more than one option for communication channels. ...
  4. Implement an anti-retaliation program. ...
  5. Conduct team-building activities. ...
  6. Focus groups.

What is HR's role in preventing retaliation? ›

Inform employees that retaliation is illegal and will not be tolerated. Establish an open door policy. Encourage employees to share any concerns about discrimination with you. Respond promptly and effectively to discrimination questions, concerns and complaints.

How does HR protect employees? ›

The main job of HR, from the C-suite point of view, is to protect the company by delivering competent employment candidates on a timely basis, supporting effective and legal recruitment and selection procedures, and keeping the company's behavior on the right side of the law at all times and in all matters.

How do you conduct an HR harassment investigation? ›

  1. 5 Steps to Conducting a Thorough Workplace Harassment Investigation. August 17, 2022. ...
  2. Separate Involved Employees. ...
  3. Choose the Right Investigator. ...
  4. Prepare for a Thorough Harassment Investigation. ...
  5. Conduct the Interviews. ...
  6. Wrap Up the Investigation.
Aug 17, 2022

Should I tell HR about harassment? ›

If you are being harassed at work, you have a responsibility to tell your employer. If you feel comfortable, you also should tell the harasser that you find his or her behavior unwelcome. You also can talk to your parents, another adult, or the EEOC.

What is an example HR anti-discrimination policy? ›

Example 1:

[Nonprofit] does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

How do you address discrimination with HR? ›

Top 5 Steps to Address Discrimination at Work
  1. Attempt an amicable resolution.
  2. Report the conduct.
  3. Call it what it is: discrimination.
  4. Put the discriminatory treatment in writing.
  5. Keep records of the discriminatory treatment.
Jan 19, 2022

How should HR resolve conflict? ›

8 Ways to Resolve Employee Conflict at Work
  1. Create an Open Door Policy. ...
  2. Determine the Severity of the Situation. ...
  3. Encourage Employees to Work Out Issues On Their Own. ...
  4. Take Action When Necessary. ...
  5. Listen to All Parties Involved. ...
  6. Document the Incident. ...
  7. Get Insight from your Employee Handbook. ...
  8. Create a Comprehensive Solution.
Aug 2, 2021

What are the three actions HR is responsible for? ›

In simplest terms, the HR (Human Resources) department is a group who is responsible for managing the employee life cycle (i.e., recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, and firing employees) and administering employee benefits.

Who keeps HR accountable? ›

From a legal standpoint, human resources might be audited by government agencies to ensure compliance with laws or proper completion of employee documents (one of the first that comes to mind is the I-9).

Can HR be friends with employees? ›

It's best to maintain your professionalism and not risk your reputation over a friendship.” Particularly on small or tight knit teams, it's not unusual for HR to develop close friendships with employees, and if you fall into that group, keep in mind that your HR responsibilities may put you in a challenging situation.

What not to say to HR? ›

What should you not say to HR?
  • The general rule is don't bring your everyday complaints to HR. They're not there to make your job better or easier and they might fire you simply because they don't want to hear it. ...
  • Discrimination. ...
  • Medical needs. ...
  • Pay issues. ...
  • Cooperate with HR if asked, but be smart about it.


1. HR Service Delivery in Higher Ed: Leveraging PeopleSoft HR Helpdesk
(Apex IT)
2. Webinar - Data Privacy Rights for the Greater Good (Derek Boczenowski, Brian Lamoureux)
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3. Do I Have to Pay My Employees for That? Common and Not-So Common Workplace Scenarios
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4. Alphabet Soup: EEOC v. OCR v. DOL OFCCP [EBR 2019]
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5. HR at 100mph with Hunter Lott at GeniusDen (Full Presentation)
(Dallas GeniusDen)
6. The FLSA Changes and Strategies
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