Section 3:

Policies & Guidelines


There are many types of policies your organization should have in place to prevent and address gender discrimination and sexual harassment. This section will provide guidance on the policies that your organization should establish and how to communicate them to your staff.


Review the standards and resources below on Policies and Guidelines. Review the relevant checklist.

Using the standards on Policies and Guidelines, design a written and easy to understand anti-harassment policy.

Design a written non-discrimination policy.

Design written policies around fair and equitable hiring and advancement practices.

Make policies easily accessible (i.e. by putting them on your website.

Communicate the policies to staff and make a plan to do so regularly.


  • If possible, designate more than one person to receive and respond to discrimination complaints or questions.

  • Consider permitting employees to report discrimination to any manager.

  • State that employees will not be punished for reporting discrimination, participating in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit or opposing discrimination.

  • State that you will protect the confidentiality of employees who report discrimination or participate in a discrimination investigation, to the greatest possible extent.

  • Require managers and other employees with human resources responsibilities to respond appropriately to discrimination or to report it to individuals who are authorized to respond.

  • Provide for prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of complaints.

  • Provide for prompt and effective corrective and preventative action when necessary.

  • Consider requiring that employees who file internal complaints be notified about the status of their complaint, the results of the investigation and any corrective and preventative action taken.

  • Describe the consequences of violating the non-discrimination policy.

* Federal, state and local laws may prohibit additional types of discrimination and/or require you to provide reasonable accommodations for other reasons. Federal, state and local government websites may have additional information about these laws.

In addition to the EEOC checklist below, you can also review pages 37-40 of the EEOC Report on Policies and Procedures.

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