Handling Discrimination and Harassment Claims

When running a successful business, one of the most important practices and policies to have in place is an effective, efficient and proactive complaint procedure.


Be Respectful: When a complaint is brought to your attention, it is important to ensure that they are treated with both respect and consideration. You must take every claim seriously.


Listen – Don’t react: An effective complaint system is focused on listening, not reacting or blaming. Any reaction (even if genuine) can be taken wrong and create issues of retaliation and trust.


Don’t Retaliate: It seems silly to remind employers not to retaliate, yet it remains one of the biggest risks. Retaliation claims are the most serious because there is a concrete event (the complaint) with specific conduct that follows the employees believes is retaliation.


Follow your Handbook Every business should have a policy in place on how to handle any form of complaint. Be sure to follow these established rules in order for each and every complaint.


Interview: It is important to ensure that you have sufficiently investigated the complaint before making any decisions. Be sure to document your investigation, including the interviews, the steps you have taken, as well as any action that may have been taken against the accused individual. It may also be in your interest to hire a law firm to do it so that it can be privileged.


Confidentiality: The complaint should not be simply spread around the office – a coworker should not know about the complaint nor any of the details. Not only will this information have the ability to damage a workplace environment, but it can also damage the reputations of any persons involved.


If you are experiencing a workplace discrimination or harassment issue, and you are in need of the expertise and advice of an employment attorney, contact us at Maduff Law.