Training Supervisors to Prevent Workplace Harassment

Risk Research Bulletin | February 2015 | 0 Comments  Average 5 out of 5

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Failure to properly educate first-line supervisors on harassment can prove to be catastrophic for educational institutions. United Educators (UE) colleague Dan Wilczek offers his experience and advice in this helpful guide:  

  • Institutions should equip their supervisors with the knowledge to react appropriately in common harassment situations. Policies and procedures should be developed that are easy for supervisors to use.
  • Employers should use a broad definition of harassment in supervisor training.
  • Policies must address all types of harassment that are protected federally. This includes harassment based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability. Additional groups that are protected at the state or institution level (e.g., sexual orientation, gender identity) must be included in the policy as well.
  • Institutions need to adopt a clear procedure for employees to report a concern or make a complaint about workplace harassment.
  • Supervisors must understand their responsibility to report harassment according to the policy. This includes being aware of what constitutes retaliation and vigilance in reporting any conduct that may appear to be retaliation.  

Comprehensive harassment policies and proper training of supervisors can help institutions avoid legal liability by showing that action was taken to prevent and stop any harassment. Read the guide for more tips and information on properly documenting employee disciplinary actions.


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