April 15, 2015 Category: Sexual Harassment
Although sexual harassment may have been more overt in past generations, it is still a problem that should be taken seriously today. Every company should have a policy in place to ensure that it doesn’t happen. If an employee does make an accusation of harassment, it should be taken seriously and investigated in a timely manner. Ignoring sexual harassment is generally seen as paramount to condoning it.
Even if an employee asks that a supervisor not report harassment to the human resources department or others within the company, it is important to do so anyway. The worst thing that can happen is for a complaint to not be addressed or handled in some fashion. Reporting instances of sexual misconduct in the workplace makes it easier to remedy the problem before it gets out of control. When attempting to remedy an issue, an employer should refrain from using legal labels, as this could be taken as an admission that something illegal took place.
Employers should understand that just because conduct doesn’t rise to the level of sexual harassment, it doesn’t mean that it is acceptable. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the company does not retaliate against an employee simply for making an accusation. Employers that retaliate could face additional legal action, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that retaliation claims were among the most common charges filed with that agency in 2014.
Employees who believe that they been the victim of sexual harassment leading to a hostile working environment may have grounds for legal action. There are strict procedures to be followed when filling a claim with the EEOC or the applicable state agency that an employment law attorney can explain.