If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to remind everyone in HR to avoid playing down or dismissing the impact of supervisor harassment on employees.
It may be tempting to tell a complaining employee that she’s making a mountain out of a molehill. But understand that telling an employee she should get over it and return to work may prompt her to quit—and then sue you.
She’ll probably say she was constructively discharged—that is, she had no choice but to quit because of how the HR office reacted to her complaint.
Recent case: Clara Whitten was transferred to a new store within the Fred’s Discount retail chain. She worked there just two days before quitting.
She claimed her new manager called her dumb and stupid and told her he didn’t want her in his store. Then, she alleged, he pressed his groin against her. He also told her to “be good” to him and not to complain up the chain of command. If she did, he allegedly said, he would make her life “a living hell.” The next day, he again pressed himself against her.
Whitten complained to the district office. She was told she was “overreacting” and that she should go to work and pretend nothing had happened.
She instead quit and sued. The court said she could claim she had no choice but to quit based on the response to her complaint. (Whitten v. Fred’s, No. 09-1265, 4th Cir., 2010)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/11637/dont-marginalize-harassing-behavior-you-could-trigger-constructive-discharge-suit "