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What to do if an employee makes a sexual harassment complaint

Feb 9, 2022 | Business Litigation

As the owner of the business, an employee may come to you and make a sexual harassment complaint about a co-worker or a supervisor. Regardless of your opinion on the validity of this complaint, you need to know what to do next and how to react.

Above all else, it’s important to take every complaint seriously. You do not want to become complicit by ignoring the complaint or even trying to cover anything up. Work on gathering evidence and discovering what happened. Some other tips are included below.

Agree to short-term changes

It may be possible to make short-term changes simply for the comfort of that employee as the investigation is conducted. For instance, if their complaint targets a supervisor, transfer them to a different position or a different location so that they don’t have to continue working under that person during the investigation.

Consider different types of evidence

Many of these cases involve one person’s word against the other. The employee may allege that something happened and the supervisor may deny it. This is why it’s important to gather evidence such as email messages, text messages, videos from security cameras, testimonies from other witnesses and much more.

Keep everyone in the loop

You need to talk to both the person who filed the complaint and the one it is focused on during this process. Make sure they know what obligations they have and what steps to take. Tell them about the status of the investigation and notify them immediately when a conclusion is made.

Situations like this can be very complicated for your business, so you also need to make sure you know about your legal options.