How can you handle harassment allegations in the workplace?

| Jan 22, 2020 | employment law |

A workplace sexual harassment allegation is a big deal. It does not matter if it is one of your best employees or one of your newest and least experienced employees. Employers have a lot of liability in this area, so it is really important to take it seriously and to act promptly.

You can do everything right and it still pops up. It is more important what you do when you find out about it. You do not want to take it casually, even if you think it is frivolous. According to Forbes, that means acting promptly and thoroughly investigating. Also, you should talk to all the parties involved. Some companies prefer to hire an outside party to do that, and that is an option you could consider. You should keep confidentiality in mind. That means that you only share information with people who have a need to know.

Be very conscious of retaliation and not retaliating against somebody or allowing retaliation against someone who has brought forward a complaint. That can be tricky too – especially if you think it is frivolous. It can be really hard to not want to talk to that person, not take them seriously or change their schedule in some way.

If the allegations prove to be true, take decisive action. Do not be afraid to fire somebody if they have acted badly. There is so much liability in this area and you may want to document every conversation and every step along the way. Documentation does not need to be paragraphs. It is just a fact because under the law it did not happen – if it is not written.