One of the most costly mistakes employers can make when it comes to sexual harassment is to not address the situation appropriately. Regardless of whether an employer believes that there are grounds for such a claim, it is crucial to respond swiftly and thoroughly.
In this post, we will look at five ways employers can and should deal with sexual harassment complaints in an effort to avoid litigation.
- Act quickly. Failure to act in a timely manner could be seen as a complete failure to act, which may be grounds for further action by the complaining employee.
- Take the complaint seriously. Even if the allegation seems baseless or frivolous, employers have a responsibility to take action and be objective.
- Conduct a thorough investigation. Investigating a claim of harassment is crucial, and employers should be sure to talk to all appropriate witnesses and review relevant documentation. Keeping this information confidential can be crucial as well.
- Hand down appropriate punishment. If an investigation reveals that an employee or supervisor acted improperly, employers should be prepared and willing to penalize the offending parties.
- Consult an attorney. If at any point in this process questions arise regarding what should or should not be done, and to make sure the appropriate steps are being taken, employers or employees should discuss the case with an employment law attorney.
There are other steps that employers can take to resolve sexual harassment matters appropriately, but these represent some very important examples of steps that should always be considered.
Sexual harassment claims can quickly spiral into more and more serious allegations that come with more severe penalties, so it is crucial that employers and employees understand what should be done when a complaint is filed. Anyone who has questions about this process is encouraged to discuss their situation with an attorney.