Q. May an employer include language in its sexual harassment policy imposing discipline on employees who bring false claims of harassment?
A. Including such a statement does not violate state or federal laws. However, the purpose of implementing a sexual harassment policy is generally to encourage employees to bring complaints of inappropriate behavior to the company’s attention. Some contend that promising to punish workers who bring “false” claims will discourage them from making legitimate complaints. That could cause sexual harassment liability.
For example, in its recent sexual harassment rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employer could avoid strict liability for harassment by a supervisor when no adverse employment action was taken if:
- The employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct the harassment, and
- The employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities the employer provided.
If an employer’s sexual harassment policy includes sanctions for employees who bring false claims, a worker may be able to dodge the affirmative defense by contending that he or she did not complain about the inappropriate conduct due to a reasonable fear of retaliation.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/8957/making-false-sexual-harassment-complaints "
- Contractor decision costs FedEx $319 million as class action grows
- Equal-Pay Bills Defined by 'Work of Comparable Value'
- What's wrong with this picture? You be the judge
- Hey, boss, you'd better call HR! Warn managers: Don't fix complaints informally
- The key is consistency: Make sure similar infractions are subject to similar punishment