When it comes to any potential foul play at work, it is important that employees understand when they should share their concerns, who they should share them with and how to do so. In order to ensure all your staff feel comfortable raising any concerns they have regarding whether staff or clients are involved or assisting in sexual harassment, we have created a detailed whistleblowing policy template. The template can easily be edited to include relevant contact information, the company name and any company-specific procedures. The template is fully compliant with the New York State and City sexual harassment regulations.
What should be included in a sexual harassment whistleblowing policy?
A sexual harassment whistleblowing policy should highlight the importance of staff raising any concerns they have. Seeing something that you feel, or know isn’t right and not reporting it can result in your colleagues suffering sexual harassment that could easily be avoided. Here are some of the key sections to include in your whistleblowing policy template:
Explain sexual harassment laws
The policy should set out the requirements of both the New York State and federal laws. The New York Labor laws protect whistleblowers, preventing employers from penalizing any employee who reports any activity that violates laws and regulations relating to sexual harassment. They are also forbidden from taking action against one who testifies about an employer during an investigation or hearing. Federal law protects whistleblowers who work for the federal government and report the possible existence of activities which constitute a violation of laws, rules and regulations.
No employee should be afraid to be a whistleblower when it comes to sexual harassment. Retaliation includes:
- Termination of employment
- Increasing an employee’s workload
- Transferring the employee to a less desirable location
Sexual harassment disclosure guarantee
Your organization’s whistleblowing policy should stress that should an employee use the policy to raise a concern, they will not suffer any form of retribution or detrimental treatment. Should they wish for the matter to be treated in confidence, you are required to respect their request and only make disclosures to third parties, partners, or other staff with their consent. This assurance applies regardless of whether the subject matter of the whistleblower’s concern, report or disclosure relates to your company, a client or third party.
The procedure for raising concerns under the sexual harassment whistleblowing policy
The policy must explain in simple terms the procedure for raising concerns of sexual harassment. This should include:
- How to report a concern and the relevant contact person
- What happens once a report is made
- The importance of respecting client and third-party confidentiality when reporting concerns of sexual harassment
- The importance of respecting the policy and what happens if an employee breaches the policy
- The process of monitoring and reviewing the policy
VinciWorks’ sexual harassment training
VinciWorks’ interactive e-learning harassment course, MyStory: Harassment and Bullying at Work, raises awareness of the signs that could present sexual harassment red flags. Further, it brings to life the real impact of bullying and harassment at work through hard-hitting stories. It connects users to a global movement, #MeToo, and gives them a chance to have their story heard too. The three main sections, Experience, Explore and Share, create a personal experience for the user. The course includes a “Seek Help” section that allows users to report any inappropriate behavior, as well as the sexual harassment regutions in your jursdiction and internal policies. You can demo the course for free here.