312 Walnut Street (If this were to occur, the employer might be liable for retaliation in violation of the FEHA.5). Of the 30% of sexual harassment victims who do report it, up to 75% experience retaliation, according to an EEOC report.

Even in this case, the employer should still take reasonable steps to protect the interests of the alleged victim.

This one sounds obvious, but close, active listening is a critical part of a smart employer response to allegations of workplace harassment for several reasons. 1984) 726 F.2d 424, 427. It's best if employers take exhaustive efforts to corroborate or disprove the allegation that the accusing employee brings forth and handle it with as much confidentiality as possible. During the investigation, the accuser and the accused harasser may tell very different stories. A prompt and appropriate response to allegations of workplace harassment can help an employer limit liability in case of a lawsuit. Related Posts: Know what reasonable accommodations you must take as an employer, What is (and isn't) sexual harassment?, What you need to know if you hire young teens this summer, Tips for developing an employee dress code.

Opinions expressed are those of the author. Protect your company in workers' compensation claims.

There is no questioning the power of the #MeToo Movement, which has required all brands to look within their corporate culture and change as necessary to be in front of sexual discrimination issues. The 2016 (EEOC) report showed that many traditional trainings have not been effective or sufficient. However, the law does not necessarily require this.4. Your company's written harassment policy should encourage employees to report any complaints to your human resources office. Copyright © 2020 Shouse Law Group, A.P.C. Make it clear that an investigation will need to be conducted—one that is prompt, confidential, thorough, independent, and fair. Questions an employer might want to ask about its anti-harassment policy following the investigation of a sexual harassment or non-sexual harassment complaint include: For questions about how California employers should respond to complaints about workplace harassment under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our California labor and employment attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at Shouse Law Group. They should speak with both parties, while documenting all conversations.

Toll Free: This in turn will encourage him/her to see the employer as an ally, not an adversary, in confronting the workplace harassment. When employees fear retaliation, they are understandably far less likely to speak about it. Look for your own blind spots as well as those of employees. It's also an employer's job to keep both parties in the loop about any actions they take regarding the harassment complaint.

Briefly explains the results of the investigation, Reiterates the employer’s policy against harassment, and. Were there any witnesses?

There should be an internal system in place to appropriately handle complaints when they arise.

Definitely recommend! Optimally, the meeting is in person, but if that's impossible then a prompt telephone interview at least affords the opportunity to connect and hear the concerns in a timely manner.

Don’t be in a hurry to get it over with. If the harasser is the direct supervisor of the harassed person, transferring the harassed person to a different supervisor is definitely advisable. It is your responsibility to know your organizational policies, protocols, and investigatory processes as well as what you would need to do. Ask things like, "Did you tell anyone about the incident before reporting it? The longer you take to investigate, the easier it is for people to forget information.

Investigators should not force a confrontation between the accuser and the alleged harasser. Your company's leadership should use neutral and nonaccusatory language and little to no legal jargon.

Taking appropriate corrective action to enforce the employer’s anti-harassment policy. Enjoy! No matter who performs the investigation, though, a through harassment complaint investigation should have the following characteristics: Step 4 in a good plan for addressing complaints of harassment is drawing conclusions based on the results of the investigation. It can also expose your Cincinnati company to legal liability.

See Barrett v. Omaha Nat’l Bank (8th Cir. Do These 8 Things Immediately When an Employee Reports Harassment 1. Some disciplinary action against the harasser would clearly be warranted, probably with a warning that any further misconduct would be grounds for termination.