In recent times there have been more reports of people being reported for cases of sexual harassment. While certain celebrities have been in the press about this it is easy to forget that it can occur in any profession. The difficulty comes when you are faced with a case. How do you look at what is being reported and how should it be investigated?
Report it immediately
If you are a supervisor and someone makes a complaint report it to the HR department immediately. It is important that this taken to the appropriate person and that anyone who has to report an incident isn’t directed elsewhere as it may be hard for them to bring up the issue in the first place.
Be thorough and prompt
It is important to stick to all the legal guidelines and go through the process as thoroughly but also as quickly as possible. If there are any delays you need to inform all parties involved so that they are aware as well as the results of the investigation.
This also means ensuring all witness statements are written down and signed, as well as discussing with anyone whether they have witnessed the accused harasser engaging in any inappropriate activity.
Another issue is ensuring that during the investigation the alleged harasser and the person making the complaint are kept separate as much as possible. While the result of the investigation is important it is also crucial that the right environment is maintained during the process as well.
Also, if someone asks that the matter is kept confidential you should do so as much as you can. When investigating a complaint, it is difficult to keep it completely anonymous but discretion is vital.
You also need to make sure an investigation is fair. Ideally this should be conducted by someone who doesn’t know either person involved to keep it reasonable. Ultimately nobody should assume guilt or dismiss claims in order to keep the process as fair as you can.
Above all be consistent- whether it is a minor or major case or the person accused is working on the phones or an executive, the issue is the same. People need to feel that if an issue like this occurs that they can talk to someone and that their complaints will be listened to and if necessary are properly addressed.
If it doesn’t work out
If you feel that you had a case whereby someone was sexually harassing you and that you feel it was not properly dealt with we can help. Larcomes not only prides itself on having the resources to deal with these issues but also has the experienced representatives who can calmly and sensitively help you deal with the process. For more information or to discuss this with a member of our team please contact Larcomes today and we will be happy to go over your case in more detail to help you decide what you want to do and whether or not to take the case further.