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Sample Harassment Policy


[Employer name] ("the Company") is committed to maintaining an environment free from bullying and harassment, which can be a form of workplace discrimination. All employees have a right to work in an environment free from bullying or harassing conduct, including sexual harassment. The Company requires that all employees (including contractors) refrain from bullying or harassing anyone, including coworkers, members of the public, vendors, and clients.

Policy Statement

  1. This policy applies to all employees (including contractors) and to non-employees who bully or harass others on company time or property.
  2. The Company will not tolerate harassment of any kind. A confirmed complaint of harassment will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
  3. This policy will be distributed to all current employees and posted in a prominent location in the workplace. The policy will also be distributed to new employees during orientation.
  4. Individuals that report bullying or harassment in good faith are protected from retaliation by the Company or any employee of the company. Retaliation includes but is not limited to employee discipline, discharge, further acts of discrimination, or other adverse actions when those acts are intended to punish an employee for reporting harassment, opposing discrimination, or filing or assisting with a complaint to local, state, or federal antidiscrimination agencies.
  5. The Company will promptly investigate complaints of bullying, harassment, or retaliation. Such investigations will be fair and impartial. All employees of the Company are required to cooperate with investigations of workplace bullying, harassment, or retaliation.


Bullying is verbal or physical conduct that seeks to harm, intimidate, or coerce another person. Bullying is not necessarily based on a person's membership in a protected category like race, sex, age, or disability, among others.

Harassment is persistent and unwelcome conduct because of any of the bases protected by law (race, sex, age, disability, etc.). Harassment exists whenever

Sexual harassment is one type of harassment and includes unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature or unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature includes the repeated making of unsolicited, inappropriate gestures or comments and the display of sexual materials not necessary for our work.

Recognizing Harassment

It is impossible to list every type of behavior that can be considered bullying or harassment in violation of this policy. In general, any conduct that could interfere with an individual's work performance or create a hostile work environment is forbidden. This is the case even if the offending employee did not mean to be offensive – employees must be sensitive to the feelings of others. Even mild offensive conduct can be considered bullying or harassment if someone has made it clear that it is unwelcome. Some examples include:

Verbal: Jokes, insults, and innuendoes; threats; degrading sexual remarks; whistling; cat calls; comments on a person's body or sex life; or pressures for sexual favors; participating in derogatory or insulting gossip.

Non-Verbal: Intimidating or confrontational body language; gestures, staring, touching, hugging, or patting; blocking a person's movement; standing too close; brushing against a person's body; display of sexually suggestive or degrading pictures; racist or other derogatory cartoons or drawings.

Employee Responsibilities

Employees who experience, witness or suspect bullying or harassing behavior must report the behavior to their direct supervisor, or to another supervisor or human resources if their direct supervisor is involved in the bullying or harassment. Employees that feel comfortable directly intervening in situations where they perceive bullying or harassment are encouraged to do so.

Supervisor Responsibilities

Supervisors and managers who receive a complaint of bullying or harassment, who observe such behavior, or suspect that such behavior is occurring have a duty to investigate the behavior and address it as necessary, or to report such suspected harassment to [Designee].

In addition to being subject to discipline if they engage in harassing conduct, supervisors and managers are subject to discipline for failing to report suspected harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing harassment to continue, or for engaging in retaliation or failing to report retaliatory acts.

Complaint and Investigation of Harassment

The Company takes all reports of harassment seriously. The Company will promptly and thoroughly investigate any complaint, information, or knowledge of harassment. The investigation will be as confidential as possible. All persons involved, including complainants, witnesses, and alleged perpetrators may be required to cooperate in an investigation, will receive fair and impartial treatment, and will not be subject to retaliation for information disclosed to the Company.

The Company will take any interim actions necessary to protect complainants from further acts of bullying, harassment, or retaliation during the investigation. The Company may review documents, interview employees, or take whatever investigatory steps it deems necessary to determine whether harassment occurred.

The Company will notify the complainant of the outcome of the investigation, although the Company may decline to reveal specific disciplinary actions taken where there are confidentiality issues with such disclosures.

External Remedies Available

Harassment because of a protected characteristic (race, sex, age, disability, etc.) is illegal under applicable local, state, and federal laws. Aside from the Company's internal process, employees may choose to pursue legal remedies with appropriate governmental entities at any time, including

Wisconsin Equal Rights Division
201 E Washington Ave
Room A100
Madison, WI 53703
Equal Employment Opportunity
Reuss Federal Plaza
310 W Wisconsin Ave, Ste 500
Milwaukee, WI 53203-2292