Building a Harassment-Free Workplace

KMA supports organizations in their efforts to build and sustain workplace cultures where all employees feel safe and valued—that’s what matters most when we talk about harassment-free workplaces. We recommend that every employee participate in annual Harassment Prevention Training because it sets up and reinforces clear expectations about conduct in your workplace.

Harassment Prevention Training encourages employees to speak up at the first sign of behaviors that could infringe on a respectful workplace. Every employee plays an important role in sustaining healthy work cultures.

Maine was one of the first states in the nation to mandate harassment training. This is required within a year of hire in workplaces with 15 or more employees, including additional training for supervisors. Annual harassment notices are also required regardless of the number of employees.

Be a Proactive Employer

What can you do to help set your organization on the right path? If you are in a leader manager position, be sure to walk around and engage your employees on a regular basis. Casual conversations can reveal a lot about how employees are interacting with each other. Build a sense of community where your employees know that you care, check-in frequently, and have a pulse on the general atmosphere.

Leaders who model respectful behavior encourage these same qualities in their employee population. In addition, employees are more likely to speak up when they know that they will be respected and heard.

Other proactive measures include:

  • Have all employees participate in annual Harassment Prevention Training and ensure that it is documented.
  • Make sure your policies on harassment and employee conduct are up-to-date and distributed annually. Be clear on what behavior and conduct is prohibited.
  • Address inappropriate conduct quickly—never delay.
  • Train managers and supervisors on how to handle complaints of harassment.
  • Treat all harassment complaints seriously and conduct thorough investigations.
  • Ensure employees are protected against retaliation for filing a complaint or participating in an investigation.

For harassment training to be fully compliant, employers must also provide employees in Maine with information on their organization’s internal complaint process. This should be included in the company sexual harassment policy and sent annually to employees to satisfy the notice provisions of state law. Please contact KMA if you need assistance in developing a sexual harassment policy which meets Maine requirements.

For More Assistance & Training

KMA is committed to offering anti-harassment training that meets the State of Maine requirements for employers and encourages a harassment-free workplace. In addition to the training we currently offer at employer workplaces, we offer regular trainings to help employers, employees, and other members of the public prevent and stop the damaging effects of all types of harassing behaviors. Participants will learn about legal requirements and what to do when harassment occurs.

Our next Harassment Prevention Training will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2020 from 9:00 am to 10:30 am. For more information and to register for this session, visit our events page.

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