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Act fast on word of supervisor harassment

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Here’s a powerful reminder that when a supervisor is the harasser, prompt action can still save the day—as long as the harassed employee hasn’t yet been demoted, fired or otherwise substantially harmed.

The key is to have a clear reporting process in place, let employees know it’s there and then act fast once a complaint surfaces.

Recent case: Kristin’s employer out­­lined in its handbook exactly what employees need to do if they are being harassed. Kristin used that procedure to report alleged harassment by her boss. The employer immediately arranged a meeting and investigation and then removed the boss.

Kristin sued anyway. But because no harm had come to her before the employer acted, the court said she didn’t have a case. (Audrey v. Career Institute of Health and Technology, et al., No. 06-CV-5612, ED NY, 2014)

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