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Sexual Violence and the Workplace: Information for Employers

Employers have a right and a responsibility to keep their employees safe from violence. Employers could be held liable for sexual violence that happens in the workplace. Even is sexual violence does not occur at the workplace, sexual violence has potential economic consequences to the employer in terms of absenteeism, diminished productivity and lose of experienced personnel. It is important for employers to understand how sexual violence impacts the workplace and how they can prevent violence in the workplace.

Resources for Employers

Sexual Violence & the Workplace: Employer’s Guide to Prevention (16 p) By NSVRC (2013). When sexual violence occurs in the workplace, it can create a climate of fear and reduce productivity and wellness of the entire staff. The purpose of this guide is to provide employers with information that may help facilitate their engagement in creating a comprehensive violence prevention and response plan in collaboration with community-based sexual violence centers.

Guidance for Agency-Specific Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Policies (38 p.) by United States Office of Personnel Management (2013). This document provides federal agencies with direction on responding to violence in the workplace.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Workplace Violence provides information on the legal obligation employers have to keep their workplaces safe.

Encourage, Support Act! Bystander Approaches to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (29 p.) by Australian Human Rights Commission (2012). This document illustrates how the bystander approach can be utilized in a workplace setting to prevent workplace sexual violence.

Workplace Policies

State Law Guide: Domestic and Sexual Violence Workplace Policies (14 p.) by Legal Momentum (2013). This guide provides example provisions on what should be in a model anti sexual violence workplace policy. It also provides information on legislation or state initiatives that require or strongly suggest employers to adopt a domestic and sexual violence policy for their workplace.

Domestic and Sexual Violence Workplace Policies (2 p.) by Legal Momentum (n.d.). This document provides recommended provisions for a workplace policy addressing sexual and domestic also provides information on how to best serve survivors in the workplace.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Sexual Harassment  by EEOC. Provides legal information regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.

Question and Answer for Small Employers on Employer Liability for Harassment by Supervisors by EEOC. This website provides answers to commonly asked questions regarding employers liability for sexual harassment.

Policy Guidance Documents Related to Sexual Harassment by EEOC. This website provides guidance documents for employers regarding sexual harassment.

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