Monthly Tips

May 2019

Yes, You Need a Harassment Prevention Policy

All California employers must develop and distribute a written harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention policy — it’s the law.

But not just any policy will do — it must meet 10 different requirements, which include 12 protected classes under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, a detailed complaint process, an explanation of your employees' right to complain about harassment or participate in an investigation without fear of retaliation, and your investigation process, to name a few.

Beyond the legality, a policy should also inform your employees of two things: that the company won’t tolerate any disrespectful and unprofessional conduct, and that it takes harassment claims seriously.

And there are even more reasons why a policy is so important — it's the first of many ways to promote a harassment-free workplace; it conveys that your workplace promotes a culture of respect and dignity and aims to stop unprofessional and disrespectful conduct before it becomes a legal violation; and it encourages your employees to report prohibited conduct without fear of losing their job or being retaliated against for speaking up.

Sounds like a win-win, right?

A few more things to remember:

  • Let all employees know to whom they should report inappropriate conduct, and give them an option other than their supervisor in case the supervisor also is the offender.
  • Once your policy is complete and compliant, you must give it to all your employees along with an acknowledgment of receipt — have your employees sign and return this acknowledgement and keep it on file.
  • If you’ve got a multilingual workforce, you've got to make sure they understand the policy, so translate it into any language spoken by 10 percent or more of your employees.

Given the importance of a harassment prevention policy for all employers, we’ve included it in our download packet — take it, customize it with your logo and company name, add it to your handbook and distribute to your workers. Want to thank us? Continue promoting harassment-free and respectful workplaces!


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