Sample Harassment Policy

Equal Rights Publication ERD-10449-P

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Note: This sample is a composite of various harassment policies. It is intended as a guide for Wisconsin employers in developing their own policy, and should be modified as needed to meet specific policies and structures. It is not legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, a competent professional should be sought.

Note:
The links (bookmarks) in the Table of Contents take you to that section in this Publication.
The links in the Text take you to either a page in our website, a section in the Wisconsin Statutes or a section in the Wisconsin Administrative Code.

Table of Contents

Policy Statement

This defines the harassment policy of ________________(employer).

The most productive and satisfying work environment is one in which work is accomplished in a spirit of mutual trust and respect. Harassment is a form of discrimination that is offensive, impairs morale, undermines the integrity of employment relationships and causes serious harm to the productivity, efficiency and stability of our organization.

All employees have a right to work in an environment free from discrimination and harassing conduct, including sexual harassment. Harassment on the basis of an employee's race, color, creed, ancestry, national origin, age (40 and over), disability, sex, arrest or conviction record, marital status, sexual orientation, membership in the military reserve or use or nonuse of lawful products away from work is expressly prohibited under this policy. Harassment on any of these bases is also illegal under Section 111.31-111.39, Wisconsin Statutes.

This policy will be issued to all current employees and during orientation of new employees.

Definitions

In general, harassment means persistent and unwelcome conduct or actions on any of the bases underlined above. Sexual harassment is one type of harassment and includes unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature or unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature includes, but is not limited to

Harassment on any basis (race, sex, age, disability, etc.) exists whenever

Recognizing Harassment

Harassment may be subtle, manipulative and is not always evident. It does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome and is personally offensive. All forms of gender harassment are covered. Men can be sexually harassed; men can harass men;

Women can harass other women. Offenders can be managers, supervisors, co-workers, and non-employees such as clients or vendors.

Some examples:

Verbal:
Jokes, insults and innuendoes (based on race, sex, age, disability, etc.), degrading sexual remarks, referring to someone as a stud, hunk or babe; whistling; cat calls; comments on a persons body or sex life, or pressures for sexual favors.

Non-Verbal:
Gestures, staring, touching, hugging, patting, blocking a person's movement, standing too close, brushing against a person's body, or display of sexually suggestive or degrading pictures, racist or other derogatory cartoons or drawings.

Grievance Procedure

Any employee who believes he or she is being harassed, or any employee, who becomes aware of harassment, should promptly notify his or her supervisor. If the employee believes that the supervisor is the harasser, the supervisor's supervisor should be notified. If an employee is uncomfortable discussing harassment with his or her supervisor, the employee should contact _________________ of the personnel department. Information on your right to file a state or federal harassment complaint is also available from _________________.

Upon notification of a harassment complaint, a confidential and impartial investigation will be promptly commenced and will include direct interviews with involved parties and where necessary with employees who may be witnesses or have knowledge of matters relating to the complaint. The parties of the complaint will be notified of the findings and their options.

Non-retaliation

This policy also expressly prohibits retaliation of any kind against any employee bringing a complaint or assisting in the investigation of a complaint. Such employees may not be adversely affected in any manner related to their employment. Such retaliation is also illegal under Section111.322 (2m), Wisconsin Statutes.

Disciplinary Action

The company views harassment and retaliation to be among the most serious breaches of work place behavior. Consequently, appropriate disciplinary or corrective action, ranging from a warning to termination, can be expected.

For more information:

STATE OF WISCONSIN
DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
EQUAL RIGHTS DIVISION
CIVIL RIGHTS BUREAU

201 E WASHINGTON AVE
ROOM A300
PO BOX 8928
MADISON WI 53708

Telephone Number: (608) 266-6860
TTY Number: (608) 264-8752

Or

819 N 6th ST
ROOM 723
MILWAUKEE WI 53203

Telephone Number: (414) 227-4384
TTY Number: (414) 227-4081

Equal Rights Division Web Site

The Department of Workforce Development is an equal opportunity service provider. If you need assistance to access services or need material in an alternate format, please contact us.

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