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Prompt action on harassment limits your liability

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

How you handle a sexual harassment complaint can mean the difference between a quick lawsuit dismissal and protracted litigation.

Prompt action is essential. If the employee thinks you aren’t moving fast enough, she may quit, increasing the chances she’ll file a lawsuit.

Recent case: Desiree worked at a car lot. She said the company owner pursued her relentlessly, propositioning her in crude and vulgar terms and touching her despite her protests.

She quit after it became clear her complaints to HR weren’t going anywhere. Then she sued.

The company tried to get the lawsuit dismissed, but failed. Desiree convinced the court that she had no choice but to quit when her complaints didn’t stop the harassment. Therefore she was constructively terminated. (Nelson v. Vigorito, et al., No. 2013-02331, Appellate Division, New York Supreme Court, 2--014)

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