POSH Guide: Stopping Sexual Harassment
Who is Responsible for Stopping Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment directed at a specific person.
- The person being harassed
- Advise the harasser that the behavior is inappropriate and unwanted.
- The harasser(s)
- Once it is made known that the behavior is unacceptable and/or unwanted that person is required to stop. If he/she does not stop, or if other people counsel you that you are too sensitive and should be able to take a joke, then you are being targeted because the harasser and/or other individuals are indicating that your rights and feelings do not count.
- The Organization
- When targeting occurs, the organization has the absolute responsibility to intervene. If your efforts are not successful or you are in a situation where it is difficult for you to speak up, utilize your chain of command or contact the EEO Office.
The organization has the responsibility for preventing and dealing with sexual harassment. Supervisors who know or should have known of sexual harassment are responsible for taking appropriate action. Sexual harassment constitutes misconduct for which disciplinary action is appropriate.
- Law Enforcement
- Circumstances, which may constitute sexual harassment, cover a broad range of behaviors that can be abusive and even criminal in nature. When abusive behavior includes elements of extortion, assault and battery, or sex crimes, supervisors have the responsibility for referring the matter to the proper authorities for further investigation and/or prosecution.