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How to respond to an employee's harassment claim

As an employer, you have a legal and ethical responsibility to investigate any claim made by an employee of any type of harassment. This includes physical, sexual, verbal or emotional harassment. The employer is expected to take the employee at their word that harassment is occurring, not decide whether or not to believe them. Let's take a look at how you can respond to an employee's harassment claim in today's post.

Your business must post its policy on harassment, specifically sexual harassment, somewhere conspicuous in the workplace. Posting the company's policy ahead of time might help squash any harassment issues, especially when the policy states that all complaints will be investigated.

You need to offer your employees different avenues to file their complaint of harassment. Don't permit just a supervisor or manager as the person who can record a complaint of harassment as they might be the person doing the harassing. Include management, human resources, top leadership members and more.

Have a discussion with the employee who filed the complaint. Let them know that they are safe from any retaliation in the workplace. Let them also know that the investigation into the complaint is moving forward.

Conduct interviews with various people who might have been involved in the harassment incident. Also interview witnesses to the incident. Use questions that are open-ended so that the answers provide as many facts as possible.

Always consult with your attorney to ensure you are doing everything according to the law when it comes to harassment.

Knowing the best way to respond to a claim of harassment by an employee is an important part of running a business. If you fail to respond to the harassment claim in an effective and timely manner your business could wind up facing litigation from the employee.

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