Here’s how to handle sexual harassment complaints: Investigate fast and fix any problems you find. Then don’t fear legitimate discipline afterwards.
Recent case: Katheryn filed an internal complaint alleging that she was being sexually harassed at work. The employer investigated and concluded that both Katheryn and the man she accused had engaged in inappropriate behavior (She apparently texted him an explicit photo.)
Almost two years later, Katheryn was fired for a variety of offenses, including texting while driving her employer’s car.
She sued for sexual harassment and retaliation, but didn’t get far. The court said the employer had fixed the harassment problem earlier and that there was no evidence Katheryn was fired in retaliation two years later. (Johnson v. North Carolina, No. 5:11-CV-57, WD NC, 2013)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Be consistent: Don't slap harasser on wrist, then fire victim
- Employer gets to choose ADA accommodation
- ADA alert: Define essential job functions before anyone requests reasonable accommodations
- You don't have to evaluate motive when employee accuses co-workers of same-sex harassment