It is important to note that the responsibility for preventing sexual harassment in workplace rest majorly with the employer whose duties is to provide a work environment devoid of discrimination and all form of unhealthy practices including sexual harassment.
It is an acceptable statement that prevention is better and less expensive than cure; hence, the main plan of the organization is to put in place a preventive mechanism that dissuades sexual harassment and ensure that when noticed or reported it is handled with all seriousness.
Measures to be taken at preventing sexual harassment by the organization:
- Written and properly communicated policy statement against sexual harassment. The company’s handbook should address a section to sexual harassment by defining what it is and the fact that it will not be tolerated when noticed or reported and found to be truthful.
- Training and workshop on the effects of sexual harassment should form part of employee induction program and continuous education. It is important for the workers to know that sexual harassment is an offence punishable by the law of the land.
- Strategic Preventive plan must be in place to nip act of sexual harassment in the bud before it escalates to sexual crime and molestation.
- Complaints management. Members of the organization should be encouraged in making complaints either anonymously or in person and when such is done it should be investigated and appropriate sanction meted out to the culprit and also communicated to the complainant.
- Protection of sexual harassment victims from an act of retaliation and official victimization. Victims must not be made to suffer retaliation in terms of denial of promotion, salary increase or other benefits especially if the harasser is in a position to approve such benefits for the victim.
- The institution of “Love Contracts” clause. It has been championed in some quarters that the organization should be flexible enough to permit open relationship between working adults as a basis for preventing sexual harassment and at the sometime protect the organization from the consequences of action of two consenting adult who must have signed a “consensual agreement forms” stating that they both voluntarily enter into such relationship and that it was not forceful and an act of harassment.
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