Employers know they have to investigate sexual harassment complaints. It’s the only way to avoid liability in some sexual harassment cases.
Conducting a thorough investigation will protect the company if it roots out and ends co-worker harassment or a supervisor’s sexual overtures that haven’t yet led to an adverse employment action.
So, naturally, the HR department will want to act fast when an allegation surfaces. And of course it would make sense to take prompt action if the complaint seemed solid. But what if your zeal to nip harassment in the bud meant you didn’t investigate as thoroughly as possible?
Good news: Your investigation doesn’t have to be perfect—just prompt and reasonable. And if that means you end up punishing an employee who claims he didn’t harass anyone or didn’t deserve to be disciplined, you’re unlikely to be punished yourself. Courts probably won’t second-guess your good-faith investigati...(register to read more)
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