• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Be consistent: Don’t slap harasser on wrist, then fire victim

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Human Resources

Michelle Johnson complained that her boss, a police chief, exposed himself, touched her inappropriately and verbally abused her. The employer launched an investigation.

Johnson saw the chief as he was coming out of his investigative interview and, believing he had lied about the allegations, she slapped him across the face.

The employer concluded that the chief was guilty of harassment, so it transferred him to a different department. Johnson, however, paid a bigger price for her slap. She was fired within four months for slapping the chief, who was eventually renamed to his former job. Johnson sued for sexual harassment.

Employers don't have to tolerate physical assaults, the court said; but comparing the two forms of discipline handed out here, it found that Johnson may have been discriminated against. Both incidents involved unwanted, harmful physical contact, but Johnson lost her job and the chief got his back. (Johnson v. West, No. 98-3903, 7th Cir. 2000)

Advice: You can defend yourself in sexual harassment cases by having a strong anti-harassment policy and taking quick, firm action against harassers. Another key element, however, includes handing out proportionate discipline.

In most cases, physical assault is enough to fire an employee. Here, however, the employer went wrong by only issuing a "slap on the wrist" to a harasser while firing the victim for one retaliatory outburst.

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/1482/be-consistent-dont-slap-harasser-on-wrist-then-fire-victim "

Leave a Comment