Sexual Harassment in the workplace is a serious issue, and it can be even more difficult to manage when you are working retail. One of the most common places women experience sexual harassment is at their place of work, and retail stores are no exception to the rule. In fact, it’s been estimated that as many as 1 in 3 women has experienced sexual harassment from customers at work. That means there are more than 40 million women who have dealt with this problem. This blog post will discuss four ways that businesses can prevent sexually harassing customers from entering their retail stores. Retail employees should always have the right to work in an environment free of sexual harassment, so companies need to do what they can to stop it before it starts.
Post and enforce a “NO HARASSMENT POLICY”
A clear policy that states that sexual harassment will not be tolerated is a must. This can be displayed in several ways at the front door of the business, on employee uniforms, or any other common areas where customers have access. Ideally, all employees should know what constitutes sexual harassment so they can point out instances of it happening inside their store. If customers find out that sexual harassment isn’t allowed, then they are less likely to harass others at your establishment.
Make sure employees feel safe coming forward with issues
Retail businesses should never discourage their employees from bringing forward issues about potential customer abuses – even if these incidents seem small and unworthy of a complaint. Employees should feel free to tell management about smaller incidents of harassment – such as customers making lewd comments.
Train employees how to handle sexual harassment complaints
Employees should be taught how to properly handle customer complaints about harassment, even if the complaint seems small or silly. Employees should never belittle a customer for filing a complaint, nor should they brush it off as being unimportant. By refusing to take these complaints seriously, employers are only perpetuating an unsafe environment by allowing harassers to continue their behavior without fear of punishment or reprisal. Sexual abuse is always serious, and your employees should never ignore it because they think it is no big deal.
Make sure that you have the correct procedures in place so that sexual harassment complaints can be handled quickly and effectively
It is important that employees know where to take customer complaints, and how to escalate them if the issue isn’t resolved immediately. Management should always be available to help look into customer claims of inappropriate behavior. This can include putting a ‘watcher’ on certain employees who seem like they could be trouble – even if this employee didn’t commit any sexual transgressions themselves.
Make sure employees know how to properly deal with situations that they are uncomfortable with
There should always be an open line of communication between management and their staff so that everyone can work together to maintain a safe environment for themselves and for other employees. The best way to prevent sexual harassment is by putting all the right systems in place to detect it early on, so hopefully, problems can be resolved before they escalate into something bigger.
The best way to avoid managerial liability for allowing customers or employees to sexually harass each other inside your retail establishment is by having policies in place that specifically state what type of behaviors are not allowed while on company property. These types of policies also go a long way towards preventing false accusations of sexual harassment from occurring – which can severely impact your business.
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