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techniques for preventing sexual harassment

As a supervisor you have an important role to ensure that the culture of your office actively discourages sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is not only against the law; it detracts from efforts to foster a respectful and productive work environment, which can become a management issue. Therefore, it is vital that as a supervisor, you familiarize yourself with the University's sexual harassment policy and procedure.

University Policy on Sexual Harassment and the Operating Procedures
Download: ( Adobe PDF)

Steps for Prevention

Below you will find some practical steps to take to prevent harassment before it starts.

  1. Be a role model. You set the tone as to what behavior will be tolerated. Remember that even if your intention was not to harass, the effect of your behavior and actions may in fact be perceived as harassing.
  2. Be able to identify and understand the two types of sexual harassment:
    • "Quid Pro Quo"
    • Hostile work environment
  3. Do not allow sexist, stereotyped or sexual remarks. Say, "that's not appropriate" or "The rules have changed: we don't do that anymore."
  4. Periodically remind employees and students of the policy and the institution's commitment to preventing and stopping sexual harassment. Conduct yearly sexual harassment training. The Office of the Assistant to President for Equity & Diversity Issues coordinates sexual harassment training for all campus groups. Contact information: (573) 651-2524.
  5. Let persistent harassers know that their job or student status is on the line. Give them a copy of the policy.
  6. Control social interaction when:
    • It occupies too much work time and interferes with productivity;
    • People perform their tasks less effectively because of it; or
    • It results in inappropriate behavior.


Fax: 573.651.2108
Academic Hall Room 012
Office of Human Resources
One University Plaza, MS 3150
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701