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Think long and hard before firing harassment victim for fighting back

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

No employer wants to look as if it is condoning violence at work. If co-workers got into a heated disagreement, and both resorted to physical fighting, most employers would conduct a quick investigation, conclude it’s impossible to determine who was in the right or wrong and fire them both, probably for violating a workplace rule against threats or violence.

But sometimes, an employee may feel as if she has no viable option except to fight back against a bully or harasser. That puts you, as the employer, in a difficult spot. Do you launch a full-scale investigation, try to sort out which employee is telling the truth and then fire the one you believe most culpable? If that’s the employee who physically struck the other, you may be making the wrong choice.

Recent case: Shameka went to work as a behavioral health worker for WES Health Systems. She weighs 135 pounds and stands 5 feet 8 inches tall. Her co-worker, Mason, is 6 fe...(register to read more)

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