Workplace Harassment Prevention Toolkit

Workplace Harassment Prevention Toolkit

02/16/18 Laura Gibbons

The following are some sample guidelines for preventing and identifying harassment in the workplace. (This guide is not all-inclusive.)

What determines if the harassing conduct is severe or pervasive?
Whether an instance or pattern of harassing conduct is severe or pervasive is determined on a case-by-case basis with consideration paid to the following factors:
• The frequency of the unwelcome conduct;
• The severity of the conduct;
• Whether the conduct was physically threat¬ening or humiliating, or a mere offensive utterance;
• Whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with work performance;
• The effect on the employee’s psychological well-being; and
• Whether the harasser was a superior within the organization.

Each factor is considered, but none are required or dispositive.

What should you do if you witness or are sub¬jected to harassment?
1. An employee who witnesses or believes that he or she has been made the target of harassment should report the harassment as soon as possible to a managing official.
2. An employee may initiate the administrative inquiry process by contacting a supervisor who will conduct an investigation intended to gather in¬formation to determine what action, if any, should be taken. This information is not intended for legal or criminal prosecution.
3. If the employee feels comfortable contacting the harasser he or she should inform the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop immediately.
4. Employees should also maintain a record of relevant events and communications between all parties in the event another incident arises and further action is necessary.
5. The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the of-fensive conduct.

Is an employee who brings a harassment claim protected from retaliation or reprisal?
Yes. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is committed to promoting and maintaining a work environment free from discrimination and retalia¬tion. Reprisal for participation in the EEO process is prohibited. If an employee wishes to file an EEO complaint of reprisal he or she may contact the OEODM office within 45 calendar days of the alleged occurrence(s) of retaliation discrimination.

Source: National Institutes of Health. For more informa¬tion, see
EA Report Brown Bagger February 2018, part of the Employee Assistance Report Newsletter, Vol. 21, No. 2

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