A Statement of Policy
last updated November 1, 2003

As an initial step in addressing the problem of sexual harassment, an organization should establish and publicize to all employees and non-employees in the workplace a policy prohibiting sexual harassment by anyone in the workplace, reminding supervisors, co-workers and non-employees that such behavior may be illegal under certain circumstances and encouraging employees and non-employees to report the behavior. The policy should encourage reporting before the harassment becomes severe or pervasive. The organization should permanently post the policy in the workplace and review the policy periodically. The harassment policy of the organization should be adopted by an appropriately high decision maker at the organization and should identify this decision maker as the person ultimately responsible for preventing harassment at the organization. The policy should emphasize that the employer will deal with allegations of sexual harassment seriously, expeditiously, sensitively and confidentially. The policy should state the range of disciplinary actions that may be taken against an employee who has sexually harassed another employee or who has victimized or retaliated against an employee who has made a sexual harassment allegation or who has served as a witness in a sexual harassment investigation.

Please note that these recommendations must be revised to reflect applicable national and local law before they could be implemented by an employer.

Adapted from EU Code of Practice on Measures to Combat Sexual Harassment included in Commission Recommendation of 27 November 1991 on the protection of the dignity of women and men at work, Official Journal L 049, 1-8 (24 February 1992); EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Vicarious Employer Liability for Unlawful Harassment by supervisors No. 915.002, 11-18 (June 18, 1999); Indian National Commission for Women, Code of Conduct for Workplace adopted in accordance with the recent Supreme Court Judgment on "Sexual Harassment of Women at the Work Place" Vishaka & others vs. State of Rajasthan and others (AIR 1997 SC 3011); South African National Economic Development and Labour Council, Code of Good Practice on the Handling of Sexual Harassment Cases; Canadian Human Rights Commission in cooperation with Human Resources Development Canada and Status of Women, Anti-Harassment Policies for the Workplace: An Employer's Guide (December 2001); and ABA, Mark I. Schickman, Sexual Harassment: The Employer's Role in Prevention.