Harassment exists even in professional environments, such as small businesses and large corporations. A person may experience harassment for numerous reasons, including gender, civil status, sexual orientation, race and beliefs. When any of this occurs in the workplace, employers must take action immediately.
Below are the measures to take:
Establish a Harassment Policy
As a preventative measure, develop a harassment policy and let your employees know about it. State that the company will not tolerate any kind of harassment and that the wrongdoers will face severe consequences, including termination.
Document the Harassment Claim
When an employee files a harassment claim, take the complaint seriously. Ask the employee to describe what happened, including the date and time of the incident. Document the complaint on paper and ask the victim to provide evidence, such as photos, videos or personal messages. In addition, make sure the claim remains confidential to prevent gossip and issues inside the workplace.
Conduct a Thorough Investigation
Investigate the claim immediately, ideally within 24 to 48 hours after the complaint. Prevent bias by asking a neutral third party, such as your human resources manager, an outside investigator or legal counsel to conduct an investigation. Interview all relevant parties, including the employee making the claim, the person accused of harassment and the witnesses.
Employ a Legal Professional
Discuss the claim to a lawyer to determine the best disciplinary action. According to a firm that provides legal advice in Townsville, involving a lawyer in workplace harassment cases solidifies the claim and ensures workplace harmony. Even Rapid Legal Solutions recommends this.
Enforce Appropriate Disciplinary Action
After gathering all the details, enforce appropriate disciplinary action to the employee, especially if found guilty of the claim. The consequence, of course, depends on the gravity of the action. Consequences may range from a warning, suspension, termination or criminal charges.
Workplace harassment continues to be an issue in small and big businesses worldwide. Implement a strict policy on harassment to prevent such issues from happening.