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Ignoring complaints: Bad strategy likely to backfire

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in HR Management,Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

Think if someone complains to HR and you just kick it up the chain of command, the problem will just take care of itself? Think again.

Recent case: Darnella Rideout and several other women who worked for the Chambersburg Public Opinion newspaper sued over what they claimed was a sexually hostile work environment.

They said they complained to HR that they had been called sexually vulgar names and learned that the publisher—a man—believed no one who had taken maternity leave would ever deserve a promotion. An HR staffer said she passed the complaints to corporate headquarters, but got no directions to investigate.

The court allowed the women to sue as a group, ruling they could lump together individual acts of indignity to establish the existence of a hostile environment. (Rideout, et al., v. Public Opinion, et al., No. 1:09-CV-0403, MD PA, 2011)

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