Being a business owner involves multi-tasking and pretty much being ready for anything. But when an employee files a sexual-harassment claim involving a supervisor or manager, how you react can make a huge impact in whether the issue is resolved properly or your company is held liable for not protecting the health and safety of an employee. If one of your employees files a sexual-harassment claim, take the following steps.
Retain an Employer Attorney
An employer attorney is a lawyer who understands all facets of employment law and can assist a company in making the right decisions when something like an allegation of sexual harassment is reported. Having an employer attorney on retainer will help ensure that you don't make any mistakes that leave your company liable for damages as the allegation is investigated.
Take the Allegation Seriously
As a business owner, it is extremely important that you take any allegation of sexual harassment by a supervisor or manager very seriously. Failure to act quickly and show that the complaint is a priority can make your company look like it does not care about employment laws or the process that needs to be taken when a sexual-harassment claim is brought forth.
Conduct an Investigation
The head of your HR department, with supervision from your employer attorney, should immediately begin an investigation into the allegation. The person lodging the claim should be interviewed as soon as possible, followed by the person being accused of sexual harassment. If either party mentions witnesses to any interactions, they should also be interviewed promptly.
When there is a sexual-harassment investigation going on within your company, it is vital that you make it clear that retaliation against the accuser will not be accepted. If the accuser is harassed, threatened, or otherwise treated poorly by other employees because he or she filed a sexual-harassment claim, your company could be held liable for damages.
Finish the Investigation Quickly
A sexual-harassment claim needs to be dealt with and finished quickly, as any perceived delay can make your company look bad. As the investigation takes place, make sure to consult with your employer attorney to ensure that every step is legal. In the event that the sexual-harassment claim ends up going to court, make sure that you have all documentation associated with the internal investigation on hand so you can show the court that your company did everything possible to resolve the issue.
Talk to a firm such as Mohajerian A Professional Law Corporation for more information.Share