How companies should handle reports of sexual harassment

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2021 | Employment Law |

Most workers don’t think about sexual harassment policies after they signed paperwork when their employer hires them. Rules against harassment and company policy about how to report certain issues may seem unimportant to you until the moment you indoor mistreatment on the job. Whether your supervisor tried to solicit sexual favors from you or your co-workers keep making raunchy comments, you may feel more comfortable reporting the issue to your employer rather than confronting the people harassing you. How should your employer respond when you tell them about your experience?

They should provide you with a safe way to get support

Companies should have anti-harassment policies in place as well as an official means of reporting issues experienced on the job. Discrimination reporting practices often require that workers reach out to human resources or someone in management.

Ideally, they will also have a way for you to report an issue if your direct supervisor or someone in human resources plays a role in the toxic workplace situation.

They should listen to your concerns and investigate the matter

Regardless of how long the other person has been with the company or their role at the business, your employer should take complaints about misconduct seriously. Whoever you make your report to, whether they are in human resources or another department, should take notes about your concerns and then give you details about what their investigation process will require.

From there, they should start looking into the complaints by talking to other employees, reviewing security footage and whatever other steps are necessary to expose misconduct with enough documentation to take action. 

They should not penalize you for reporting

You should not face any sort of employment consequences for speaking up about the misconduct you’ve endured. The company may need to separate you from the other worker, but you should not be the one who faces time off or transfer to another shift or department because of that person’s misconduct.

Additionally, if the investigation validates your claims, the company should take punitive action against the person who mistreated you at work. That may mean that they demote that individual, fire them or make them take sensitivity training. You should not face consequences as the person who endured his treatment.

Understanding the appropriate response of a business to allegations of sexual harassment can help you determine if your employer has treated you properly during the process.

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