Guide to dealing with harassment in the workplace
Harassment claims represent a big risk to employers because of the uncapped compensation available but also in terms of reputation damage (particularly so due to #MeToo).
Here are some tips on how to approach harassment complaints:-
- think carefully about moving employees involved so they do not have to work close together
- considering whether you can objectively neutrally suspend – no knee jerk reactions as they can trigger constructive dismissal claims
- make sure you have absolute clarity on the allegation/complaint
- use context to determine the credibility of complainant/s
- ensure that everyone who is interviewed is bound by confidentiality (get them to sign a confidentiality agreement) and that they understand breach will result in disciplinary action
- consider bringing in an external third party to investigate
- be tough if there is a finding that complaints made were fabricated -starting point being that the employee complaining should be believed and their evidence tested during investigation to determine their credibility
- review your harassment and bullying policy as this document if well-drafted will guide managers through the process involved – tie this in with training on diversity and inclusion which should cover harassment
If you have received a complainant of harassment and need support in planning your approach in dealing with it please call David on 020 3603 2177.
This article/blog is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action.