As per a 2018 study, 38% of women have experienced sexual harassment at work.
In 2022, workplace harassment is no longer tolerated. And the responsibility is on the employer to take swift and appropriate action. Yet, the process can be a minefield for management.
Continue reading to understand how best to handle a sexual harassment case at work.
Take Steps to Prevent It
Sexual harassment prevention is an excellent place to start because it’s better to address any potential problem before it arises. Employees can regularly undergo sexual harassment training to create a safer workplace.
It’s the duty of the employer to ensure employees are aware of what constitutes workplace harassment. You can create an anti-harassment policy and encourage all the employees to sign it. This policy can help guide your judgment in the event of a complaint.
The company’s policy on the matter should be clear. Any form of sexual harassment won’t be tolerated, will be investigated, and the guilty party will be suitably punished.
The Complaint Procedure
Employees should have knowledge and access to a number of confidential reporting channels in order to report cases of sexual harassment. An HR staff member with an excellent understanding of the organization should be put in charge of the investigation.
Employees should be encouraged to come forward and file a complaint. Once they do, it’s the employer’s responsibility to take swift and appropriate action. An investigation should get underway as soon as possible.
Conduct an interview with the employee who filed the complaint. Next, interviews can be conducted with potential witnesses and the accused person. Assure everyone that a fair investigation will be carried out, listening respectfully to each individual.
Take extensive and accurate notes, keeping all the documents until the case reaches its conclusion. This will help in the investigation and may also be useful if an employee decides to take legal action.
Take the Necessary Action
Consult with other HR colleagues to reach a decision after gathering all the information and evidence. It’s also a good idea to approach a sexual harrassment lawyer before publishing the results of the report. Check that they are in agreement with your conclusion.
Based on the findings of the investigation, carry out the appropriate discipline. Follow up, and document your follow-up meeting, with both the employee who filed the harassment case and the accused person.
To finish, consider adjusting working situations, if necessary, to assist the comfort and productivity of all.
Sexual Harassment at Work Is Unacceptable
An employer must take a proactive approach to promote workplace safety. If there is a case of sexual harassment at work, an employee should feel comfortable making a complaint.
The organization should respond quickly, handling the investigation in a professional way and ensuring fair treatment of all employees involved.
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