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Responding to sexual harassment claims by an employee

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2022 | Employment Law

Companies must have policies against sexual harassment. It’s crucial that there are specific steps for employees and supervisors to follow when someone has a complaint about any type of sexual harassment. 

There are a few points to include in the response plan your company uses. These can help to ensure the issue gets handled properly. 

Treat the complaint seriously

All sexual harassment complaints must be taken seriously. Even if you think the person accused of sexual harassment couldn’t do what they’re accused of doing, you must still investigate. It’s best to be discreet about this so you get a truthful account of what happened. Ideally, you’ll start the investigation as soon as you get the complaint with a mind toward protecting the reputations of both the complaining employee and the one being accused.

Never retaliate

Employees should know they can file factual complaints about these matters. Make sure your company doesn’t retaliate against the employee because of the complaint. The person who filed the complaint shouldn’t face things like having to move to a less desirable shift because of the complaint. 

Document the facts

Always keep thorough records of what happened. This includes each point of the investigation and the outcome. You should also document any disciplinary measures you take due to the investigation results. This documentation can come in handy if you end up having to go to court about the matter because the accuser feels you didn’t do enough to address the matter or if the accused thinks you mishandled things.

The way your company responds to a complaint of sexual harassment from an employee can have a profound impact on what happens if the employee files a lawsuit. Ensuring your response is appropriate is crucial. Working with someone who can help you to protect your company is critical.