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Instant response to harassment complaint cuts liability risk

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

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, management 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)

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