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It’s not enough to require employees to report harassment

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Many employers have handbooks that tell employees they must immediately report any alleged harassment or discrimination.

But reporting requirements alone isn’t enough. Employers must police workplaces for harassing or bigoted materials, and act immediately if they find anything.

Recent case: Charles Frazier, who is black, was fired and he sued, alleging he had worked in a racially hostile work environment. He said he had heard the N-word, found an article at work about the KKK and overheard his supervisor disparaging black culture. The employer argued he should have reported the incidents, as the handbook required.

The court said the case could proceed despite Frazier’s failure to report the incidents. (Frazier v. Ottens, No. 11-3987, ED PA, 2012)

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