Sexual Harassment: What to do!

Sexual harassment claims in the workplace often grip the headlines because of the sensational (and sordid) details of who, what, when, where and how.  Interestingly, if employers treated complaints, rumors, and rumblings of sexual harassment with the vigor of a journalist’s basic questions, some “good things” could happen to stave off real problems, identify (and solve) problem areas, and promote morale.

In addition to these benefits of following up on workplace concerns (and outright complaints), employers also may reduce their legal liability risks when they ask these “journalistic” questions of who, what, when, where, why and how.  A California law firm recently published a tidy “Do and Don’t” list when dealing with harassment concerns in the workplace – it’s great advice!

Employers do need to take workplace concerns seriously and document those efforts when they choose to address the issues internally.  However, employers also need to evaluate when they need to bring in a third party investigator – like those at One Mediation – to review the situation and provide an impartial analysis.  Many investigations of this nature cost under $5,000.00 and may be covered by an employer’s EPLI policy.

All in all, employers need to know what to do (and why) when dealing with harassment and discrimination claims in the workplace.

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