Management Responsibility

It is an employer’s responsibility to investigate any report or allegation of sexual harassment. The investigation may be brought as a result of information provided by the security officer. Once an investigation is completed, the employer is required to take an appropriate action as a result. Such action may be one of the following:

  • Establishing a policy explaining expected and appropriate behavior if none previously existed.
  • Reinforcing the policy if it does exist.
  • Ensuring that the offensive behavior ceases.
  • Disciplining of the guilty party if appropriate.
  • Counseling of the guilty party and or the victim.


Victim Responsibility

As a security officer, you may be asked for advice on how to respond to such advances or behavior. Here are some guidelines that you may wish to pass along to those who feel they have been exposed to sexual harassment (but these suggestions are not intended to supplant a company’s existing sexual harassment reporting and resolution policy):

  1. Say no. Say it firmly, and without apology so that there is no doubt of your feelings toward such behavior. Let the harasser know that such behavior will not be tolerated.
  2. Keep a log of all incidents. Write down exactly what occurred, when, where and by whom. Note any witnesses, and note direct quotes.
  3. Save any physical evidence such as letters, notes, and photos. Save them off site in a secure place such as your home.
  4. Ask others if they are aware of similar incidents involving others.
  5. Inform your superior of the incident or incidents and make your feelings about them known.
  6. Explore options for an informal resolution, and report these actions to your superior.
  7. If informal resolutions are not satisfactory, then pursue formal complaint procedures within the company.
  8. Employee Responsibility

It is every employee’s responsibility to comply with their employer’s sexual harassment policy. To treat others with respect, and to be mindful that discussion, behavior, or displays of a sexual nature may be offensive to others.

Security Officer’s Responsibility

On a personal level, a security officer has the same responsibility as every other employee. That is, not to engage in discussion, behavior or display that is or could be perceived as offensive to others.

As with all inappropriate workplace activity, if an officer observes such behavior, it should be documented.

As the person who is looked upon as being responsible for protecting the company, the security supervisor may be held to an even higher standard. By the nature of the position, a security supervisor is expected to maintain a unique standard of professionalism that other employees are not necessarily held to.

The security officer’s high visibility makes his or her actions much more obvious. Consequently, negative behavior is magnified. If a security officer is the one who is to report a sexual harassment allegation, then the officer must be held to a higher standard and be above reproach.

A security officer who is the perpetrator of a sexual harassment incident can be sued in Federal Court and subject to penalties including:

  1. Damaged reputation of his/her employer
  2. Termination of employment
  3. Financial damages


Complaints of sexual harassment have and will likely continue to increase. People are becoming more aware that they have recourse when they are victimized by such behavior, and employers are becoming more sensitive to their responsibilities. You as a security officer are acting at the direction of the company management. It would serve you well to learn exactly what the company expects from you in the matter of sexual harassment. If you don’t know, ASK!