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How should a company respond to harassment complaints?

Dec 14, 2021 | Employment litigation

Employers have a duty to ensure that workers have a safe workplace that isn’t filled with hostility. Workers who are being subjected to harassment or discrimination should know how they can file complaints about those matters. They should also know that they will be handled appropriately. 

Any employee who files a complaint about discrimination or harassment should be taken seriously. Failing to investigate these matters could lead to serious problems within the company. It may also lead to legal troubles — and that’s bad for your entire company, your business prospects and your brand.

What are the dos and don’ts of these investigations?

At the start of the investigation, you should listen to the person who’s bringing the problems to your attention. You can’t retaliate against them or assume that they are making a fraudulent complaint. Instead, you need to take all complaints seriously and investigate them even if you think that what the person claimed happened really didn’t happen. 

Depending on the size of your company, you may need to have a dedicated team to investigate these complaints. Be sure that it accurately represents the demographics of your company. Having more than one person to look into these matters can help you greatly since there won’t be any favoritism. 

Any employer who receives a complaint from an employee about any type of harassment or discrimination should investigate the matter thoroughly. This is one of the only ways that you can protect the company you’ve worked to establish. Having someone on your team who’s familiar with these matters is critical so you can learn your options for handling the legal side of these situations.