Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is generally known as sexual conduct (including comments and/or gestures) that is known or ought reasonable to be known as unwelcome. This could include a sexual advance made by an individual in a position of power to a subordinate, retaliation or threat of retaliation.
Sexual harassment is a type of sex discrimination and is prohibited under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.
The sample Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy offers a number of other definitions of behaviours that can be addressed by this policy.
It’s important to address sexual harassment in the workplace. Failure to address could:
- Lead to legal challenges;
- Result in a grievance, in an unionized environment;
- Lead to a toxic work environment;
- Lead to loss of employees;
- Damage reputation;
- Damage moral and productivity; and
- Result in a loss of profit.
It’s important to foster a psychologically safe environment in the workplace. It should be free of harassment and employees should feel comfortable bringing issues to management, trusting that these issues can be addressed in a safe and fair manner.
You can address sexual harassment in the workplace by:
- Implementing a policy that addresses sexual harassment in the workplace;
- Modelling behaviour that demonstrates sexual harassment will not be tolerated;
- And ensuring the employees are educated about the policy, and their rights and obligations under the policy.