Employers must have a comprehensive policy that forbids sexual harassment in the workplace. This dictates what’s acceptable and what’s not. It should also include the procedure for making complaints and handling investigations.
Ideally, every company will have at least one supervisor or administrator who’s trained in handling these complaints. They should be the go-to person for them. You should remember that some employees might not feel comfortable with that individual, so leave it open for them to make a complaint to anyone in a position of authority.
1. Conduct a thorough investigation
A thorough investigation must occur. It should be discreet to protect the parties involved, especially since you don’t know if the complaint is factual and valid. This may include watching surveillance footage, talking to witnesses and discussing the matter with the accused individual.
2. Take every complaint seriously
Every complaint must be taken seriously. Don’t ever assume that a complaint is false just because you don’t think the alleged harasser would do what they’re accused of. In some cases, that’s exactly what they’re counting on to happen.
3. Avoid retaliation
You must have a clear policy that forbids retaliation for filing a sexual harassment complaint. As long as the complaint is made in good faith and factual, the person who made it shouldn’t have any negative employment actions, including termination, reduction in pay or hours or any other unfavorable changes to their employment.
Any employer dealing with a sexual harassment complaint from an employee must ensure they take it seriously. These claims can be costly for the business. Working with someone who can assist with combatting the claim may help you to protect your company.