Here’s a difficult situation for even the most experienced HR pro: What should you do if you believe the head of your company is a harasser? There’s no easy answer, as this case shows.
Recent case: Candace was fired from her job with Omnitech Solutions after complaining that the CEO was sexually harassing her. The CEO happened to be the sole stockholder.
Candace sued, alleging that the company was responsible because other women had complained about sexual harassment by the CEO.
She won $300,000 based on the testimony of the HR staffer who handled sexual harassment complaints. The HR professional testified that she told the CEO that he shouldn’t allow himself to be alone with female employees behind closed doors. He ignored the advice, paving the way for Candace’s award. (Terrell v. OTS, et al., No. 11-13105, 11th Cir., 2012)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Tell bosses: Work sexual harassment rules apply to other business relationships, too
- Informal comment to HR? Beware retaliation suit
- Everyday rudeness and backbiting doesn't necessarily mean hostile work environment
- No employee handbook or written policy? Good luck proving you take harassment seriously