Any allegations of sexual harassment in Minnesota need to be taken seriously. There are a few key steps that should take after receiving a sexual harassment complaint against an employee, whether from another employee, client, customer or some other person associated with the company.
It might be difficult to investigate a complaint but it is an important component of maintaining a harassment-free environment, according to Inc. It is essential that everything is documented according to the company's policies. The information included in the documentation should be clear, concise, detailed and objective. Any interviews or other investigation needs to have a paper trail. Sometimes, an official complaint is not filed, but it remains beneficial to pursue accusations about a situation that creates a hostile or uncomfortable work environment for someone else in a similar manner as an official complaint.
When pursuing a sexual harassment complaint, it is vital to objectively hear all sides of the story. To do this, it is beneficial to start by having private interviews with the person accused of harassment and the person doing the accusing. The interviews need to start with assurances that any decision will be handled fairly based on a thorough investigation. It is also important to make sure that the accuser feels safe, not just from the harassment but also any retaliation from the company. The person handling the complaint also needs to interview any witnesses and review any emails, texts, social media posts or other media that might be part of the harassment.
According to the Balance, it is likewise imperative to talk with the person being accused of sexual harassment to impart that any retaliation against the accuser will not be tolerated. They also need to be aware of the consequences of harassment if the investigation ends in favor of the accuser. It is important that all employees are well aware of the sexual harassment policy, including the steps that will be taken upon any complaints, before and during any incidences of harassment.