Respond ASAP with swift discipline the first time someone levels sexual or anti-female taunts at an employee. Otherwise, the problem will grow. You may not realize something is wrong until the victim quits and sues.
Recent case: Shannon worked as an inside salesperson for a little over a decade until she suddenly quit after being called a “bitch” who should “shut the f*** up” during a meeting.
She sued, alleging she had been forced to quit because the incident was the culmination of years of abuse. According to Shannon, almost since day one, she had been called “woman,” “fluffy,” “toots,” “hon” and other sexist terms.
The court said that the totality of the circumstances warranted a trial. (Mandel v. M&O Packaging, No. 11-3193, 3rd Cir., 2013)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Headed to court? Have everyone ask lawyers if conversations are being recorded
- Feel free to reassign employees if it's justified—you won't be liable for retaliation
- Contemplating a RIF? Use clear criteria for who loses job
- Courts won't hear it: Don't try piling on after-the-fact reasons for termination