Your All-Purpose Harassment Policy

If you’ve never been hit with a harassment complaint – whether through the EEOC, your state agency or a civil lawsuit – you probably wonder why you need an enforceable policy.

But if you’ve ever been hit with one, you need no further convincing.

The competitive, high-pressure, small-office world of permanent placement generates more than the average number of harassment complaints. But the temporary placement business is geometrically more vulnerable due to its large number of employees and inability to control (but liability for) anything that occurs at the client’s workplace.

So for those who’ve never, those who’ve ever and those that never ever want to get hit, here’s Your All-Purpose Harassment Policy to be signed by everyone:

(NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS) HARASSMENT POLICY

(Name of your business) has a strict Policy of treating every employee with dignity, respect and fairness. Any form of harassment related to any employee’s race, religion, national origin, color, sex, age, physical or mental disability violates this Policy. The term “harassment” includes any offensive verbal, written or physical activity. Examples are offensive remarks, jokes, illustrations, pictures, gestures or physical contact.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any other unwelcome verbal, written or physical activity will not be tolerated. The response to such activity, whether accepted or rejected, will not be considered in determining whether it occurred. Only the activity itself will be considered.

(Name of your business) is responsible for the health and safety of its employees in the workplace. Employees may not isolate, intimidate, demean or refuse to cooperate with any coworker because of a suspected or known disability, illness or disease.

Employees who believe they have been subjected to harassment or retaliation for refusing to participate in harassment should immediately request that the perpetrator cease and desist from any further activity of this type. The activity should also immediately be reported to (your name).

(Name of your business) will take whatever measures it deems necessary to prevent and eliminate any form of harassment in the workplace. All management employees have been informed of this Policy and will be enforcing it consistently.

If you have any questions about what constitutes harassment or anything else related to this policy, please contact (your name) immediately.

Violation of this Policy by any employee will subject that employee to disciplinary action. This includes, but is not limited to: time off without pay, suspension or dismissal in the sole discretion of (name of your business). These may be with or without prior notice.

If you feel you have been the victim of harassment of any kind while employed at (name of your business), please contact (your name) immediately. This includes, but is not limited to, activities by members of management, coworkers, consultants, suppliers, clients, customers, or anyone else connected with your employment at (name of your business).

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(Name of your business) will promptly investigate all complaints in a confidential and professional manner to protect the alleged victim and facilitate a complete review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the complaint. There will be no retaliation or other negative action taken against anyone for notifying (name of your business) of any actual or perceived harassment in the workplace.

I have read, fully understand and agree to conduct myself in accordance with the foregoing Harassment Policy this __ day of 20___.

(Signature of Employee)

(Print Name of Employee)

We covered more on this subject in Chapters 20, 21 and 22 in The Placement Strategy Handbook entitled “Affirmative Action: Negative Reaction,” “What Requirements Are Really Discriminatory?” and “The 10 Most Frequently Asked Affirmative Action Questions.”

Take this seriously and you’ll probably never, ever get hit!

*The Placement Strategy Handbook as well as other books on recruiting and placement are available through: www.searchresearchinstitute.com

Jeff Allen, J.D., C.P.C. may be reached at: Law Offices of Jeffrey G. Allen, 9601 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1400, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, (310) 559-6000.

More than thirty-five years ago, Jeffrey G. Allen, J.D., C.P.C. turned a decade of recruiting and human resources management into the legal specialty of placement law. Since 1975, Jeff has collected more placement fees, litigated more trade secrets cases, and assisted more placement practitioners than anyone else. From individuals to multinational corporations in every phase of staffing, his name is synonymous with competent legal representation. Jeff holds four certifications in placement and is the author of 24 popular books in the career field, including bestsellers How to Turn an Interview into a Job, The Complete Q&A Job Interview Book and the revolutionary Instant Interviews. As the world?s leading placement lawyer, Jeff?s experience includes: Thirty-five years of law practice specializing in representation of staffing businesses and practitioners; Author of ?The Allen Law?--the only placement information trade secrets law in the United States; Expert witness on employment and placement matters; Recruiter and staffing service office manager; Human resources manager for major employers; Certified Personnel Consultant, Certified Placement Counselor, Certified Employment Specialist and Certified Search Specialist designations; Cofounder of the national Certified Search Specialist program; Special Advisor to the American Employment Association; General Counsel to the California Association of Personnel Consultants (honorary lifetime membership conferred); Founder and Director of the National Placement Law Center; Recipient of the Staffing Industry Lifetime Achievement Award; Advisor to national, regional and state trade associations on legal, ethics and legislative matters; Author of The Placement Strategy Handbook, Placement Management, The National Placement Law Center Fee Collection Guide and The Best of Jeff Allen, published by Search Research Institute exclusively for the staffing industry; and Producer of the EMPLAW Audio Series on employment law matters. Email him at jeff@placementlaw.com.

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