Policy Work

What your restaurant needs in its sexual harassment policy.

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Multicolored symbols representing male, female, transgender, and non-binary genders.

More sexual harassment claims are filed in the restaurant industry than in any other. Ninety percent of women and 70 percent of men report experiencing harassment on the job. According to senior HR manager Krista Arnhoelter of Society Insurance, “Real, tactical plans are the key to addressing and curbing bad behavior.” With Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, Society has put together six items that should be included in your sexual harassment policy. (Note: This list is a guide, not a template. Please seek legal counsel when drafting procedures.)

  1. Definition of sexual harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has clear guidelines online (eeoc.gov).
  2. Thorough and expansive scope. Who is covered by the policy? What if an incident occurs outside the restaurant/bar? What if it’s after hours? Be extremely detailed.
  3. Internal complaint procedure. Address confidentiality, investigation, resolutions, and appeals.
  4. Employee rights. Unlike some states, Colorado law does not require employers to provide training for preventing workplace harassment.
  5. Retaliation procedures. Individuals who have seen or experienced sexual harassment must know they have protection from attempted revenge. 
  6. Disciplinary action. Explain the disciplinary process and potential outcomes.

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com

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