Harassment Prevention Training for Managers - Taking a Harassment Complaint

Category: Harassment
Posted: 05-29-2013 09:07 PM
Views: 5938
Synopsis: Taking a harassment complaint from an employee is part of every manager's job. However, this sensitive task is not always done correctly resulting in organizational lawsuits and employee turnover.

Taking a harassment complaint from an employee is part of every manager's job.  However, this sensitive task is not always done correctly resulting in organizational lawsuits and employee turnover.  The following tips will help every manager deal with this difficult part of their job more effectively.

When a manager receives a harassment complaint they should listen carefully, remain objective, refrain from offering opinions and carefully document all the facts.

Most employees who report harassment just want the behavior to stop.  They often don’t have a desire to get the harasser in trouble and in most cases would prefer confidentiality.

While every manager should strive for as much confidentiality as possible, employees should be informed that some level of information must be shared as part of an investigation.  However, employees should be assured that retaliation for a harassment complaint will not be tolerated in their workplace.

Employees should receive guidance and encouragement to confront harassment directly.  Studies have shown that simply asking the harasser to stop will end the harassment 90% of the time.

Studies show that simply asking the harasser to stop will end the harassment 90% of the time.  Many times the employee has no idea they are offending others.  Once they understand how their behavior has affected someone else they will stop.

However there are some situations where the harasser should not be confronted and the situation should be handled by the manager or the Human Resources department in the form of an investigation.

  • The victim feels uncomfortable with confronting the harasser
  • The harassment is threatening in nature
  • The harassment is aggressively physical
  • The harasser has been confronted but has continued the harassing behavior
  • The harassment is Quid Pro Quo

In most cases, the manager will not handle the complaint.  It will be reported to the human resources or legal department.  They will either conduct an investigation themselves or refer the investigation to an outside investigator.  Managers should be prepared to hand the investigator thorough documentation of all the facts of the case.

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