As your company grows, so do employee-related issues. When a complaint includes harassment allegations, do you know what you should do?
The law takes workplace harassment claims seriously, and so should you. Take a look at how you may want to traverse this sensitive and challenging topic.
What did the employee report?
The kind of behavior reported may determine the course your investigation takes. Some of the key elements you need to listen for include:
- Comments or behavior that illicit discomfort
- Inappropriate physical contact
- Interference with job performance
When an employee reports that one or all of these elements make job performance difficult, you may have a case of harassment.
Does the behavior rise to harassment?
Sexual harassment is one of the most pervasive and sensitive examples you may have to investigate. Physical contact does not have to occur for a sexual harassment claim to prove valid. Comments about a person’s appearance or questions about personal behaviors may rise to sexual harassment. If the accuser has expressed discontent and discomfort to the aggressor, and the conduct did not stop, you may have to take immediate action.
What is the appropriate action?
In a sexual harassment claim, safety needs to remain at the forefront. If an employee tries to mitigate the unwanted action and is unsuccessful, you may need to place the aggressor on temporary leave while you investigate. The last thing you want is for anyone in your workforce to feel unsafe due to a fellow employee’s conduct. You may continue investigating the claims while removing the threat, even temporarily.
Traversing a harassment claim means doing what is fair and just for your employees. Taking action to stop a possible predator from taking advantage of others may make other employees feel safe and comfortable on the job.