Don’t let ‘harassment’ turn into unemployment claim — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Don’t let ‘harassment’ turn into unemployment claim

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Here’s another reason to handle every harassment complaint promptly and effectively: An employee who claims her employer didn’t stop harassment could quit and file for unemployment compensation benefits.

That won’t work if the employer can prove that it investigated the initial complaint and resolved it fast.

Recent case: Nikol and a co-worker didn’t get along and often called each other names. Nikol complained about alleged harassment. HR investigated and decided both employees were at fault. Both were written up.

Months later, Nikol complained about harassment again, but could provide no specifics to HR. She quit and applied for unemployment benefits, arguing that she had no choice but to quit because the company wouldn’t stop the harassment. Her benefits were denied, and she appealed.

To win her claim, Nikol had to prove that the harassment would “compel an average, reasonable worker to quit and become unemployed rather than remaining” employed. She didn’t.

The court found that the employer had investigated Nikol’s claim and decided no harassment had occurred. It concluded that an average, reasonable worker would not have quit. The court’s decision: No benefits for Nikol. (Dowls v. Select Comfort, No. A16-0524, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2016)

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