Handling Workplace Harassment
When an employee files a complaint of harassment, the employer should work with a lawyer to make the most constructive and appropriate course of action. To prevent these occurrences, the employee must take on the responsibility of properly communicating and training employees on workplace harassment policies.
In the case of an employee bringing forth such allegations, the employer should take their claim very seriously and go through the proper steps of gathering details about the incident and creating a safe space for the employee to disclose information without any risk of retaliation or termination.
A harassment policy is written not only to prevent workplace harassment but also to guide the employee and employer in the handling of such incidents. The policy may help mitigate the issue, and it will also outline how to move forward with allegations. The policy will lay out how to initiate an investigation into harassment claims. It will also lay out the necessary privacy measures and possible disciplinary actions. If an allegation does lead to an investigation, the employer should take on the role of an ally to their employer. The employee is owed a thorough and fair investigation, with appropriate interviews and respect of their privacy.
When the investigation concludes, the outcome must be disclosed to the victim and the accused. The harassment policy will dictate the course of investigation as well as the resulting disciplinary action. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) should be referred to for remedies, actions, and protections for everyone involved.