Here’s another reason to act fast when an employee says a co-worker has sexually harassed her: Employers that act quickly seldom lose sexual harassment lawsuits if their action stops the harassment.
Recent case: Stormy Magiera works as a police officer for Dallas. She claimed that one of her co-workers sexually harassed her on the job by touching her and calling her “darling” and “girl.”
After Magiera complained, conducted an internal affairs investigation. The co-worker was counseled and told that his use of endearing words when addressing a fellow officer was inappropriate. It didn’t happen again, but Magiera sued anyway.
The court tossed out her claim, concluding the conduct hadn’t been severe and the problem had been fixed soon after she complained. (Magiera v. City of Dallas, No. 3:08-CV-1023, ND TX, 2009)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- 10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review
- Beware the impact of romantic affairs on other employees
- After employee has complained, be prepared to defend even minor work changes
- Keep old handbooks to back up discipline decisions
- Employee leave: Step carefully through maze of FMLA, ADA