Developing a comprehensive sexual harassment policy is only the first step to preventing and stopping harassment in the workplace. For any sexual harassment policy to be effective, policy development must be followed by persistent training, review, and enforcement. To this end, we have prepared 5 tips for dealing with sexual harassment in retail.
Make sure your sexual harassment policy is interpreted and enforced correctly at the store level. Institute a Sexual Harassment Checklist. Checklists ensure a company’s sexual harassment policy is enforced consistently according to organizational standards and regulations.
Also, regular audits help retail companies be proactive and address issues before they become a major problem. By addressing sexual harassment regularly at the store level, employees will understand that preventing and resolving harassment is a company priority.
Notes to Compliantia users:
- Checklists can easily be imported into your Compliantia account using the Excel™ upload method. You may also add a point value, photos and attachments (e.g policy documents) to each item.
- Items that are not applicable can be marked “n/a” during the visit. If so, they will not be counted towards the final score.
1. At the time of hiring, due diligence is performed for all new employee references. References and responses are kept in the employee’s file.
2. Background checks for new employees are complete and included in the employee’s file before the employee’s first shift.
4. New employees have completed sexual harassment training and indicate they understand and will uphold the policy.
5. Upon termination or notice, employees have an exit interview that includes the opportunity to raise sexual harassment concerns.
1. All employee files have a signed form indicating that the employee received a copy of the company’s harassment policy including examples of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors as well as reporting, investigation procedures, and consequences.
2. Where employees are required to work one-on-one with customers/clients/patients, all new customers/clients/patients also receive or can refer to the company’s sexual harassment policy.
3. Company’s harassment policy is posted in customer/client/patient areas including behavior examples and reporting steps.
4. Whenever one-on-one interactions are involved, customer/client/patient files have a signed form indicating that they received a copy of company’s harassment policy.
Interpretation and Enforcement
1. As the district manager, interview a number of store employees during every visit and ask if they know what constitutes harassment, who to report sexual harassment to, and if they understand the investigation and resolution process.
2. As the district manager, ask the store manager to detail the company’s harassment policy including confidentiality requirements, the chain of escalation, how to support an employee, and consequences.
3. As the district manager, review any complaints. Ensure all complaints are dealt with immediately and within policy protocol.
4. Store managers and department managers are modelling appropriate behavior.
5. Follow-up on any unresolved complaints.
6. Verify that employees/customers/clients/patients who made a complaint receive the results of the company investigation in writing including corrective actions and resolution.
7. Verify an alleged harasser also receives investigation results in writing.