Sexual harassment at the workplace has been regular news which has been popping up in our prime time for a very long time. Harassment of any kind is a sensitive topic which has to be dealt with severe care regardless of which famous individual is involved. Harassment can be towards any gender and also at times can be confined to the walls of your workspace. Since firms and organizations have policies in place against harassment, this issue has to be dealt with accordingly, wherein your employer plays a vital role. So here we discuss in detail the part of the employer in helping an employee file a complaint in the case of sexual harassment.
The moment an employee faces a situation in which they feel harassed in any manner, they should immediately report this matter to their respective employer and also to the HR department in place. As soon as the employer has heard of this complaint, he/she should assign a staff member in charge of this situation, or the employer itself should account to be responsible. In case a member has been assigned, they should have complete knowledge about the organization and also about the accused individual mentioned in the complaint.
The member or employer should investigate every complaint of harassment to try and understand its validity. During such situations, the accused member should not be interfering or meddling their way into the investigation in any manner. This should be done with the complete knowledge of the management regardless of the bad reputation it might provide for the company or the position the accused holds in the company or organization. This investigation also calls for giving interviews with any witness and other related employees.
Once the investigation has been carried out and if found out to be authentic, then talk to the individual who raised the complaint and provide your complete support to the person. This talk should be brief, and one should understand the situation which occurred without making it uncomfortable for the employee. The organization and the management should be together during such times without shredding a spare thought of disbelief. This fight is against such behaviour and harassment, making it clear to the accused about the effects of crossing the line and going way beyond it.
Talking to the accused and informing him/her about the ongoing investigation and the complaint raised against them is necessary. During this brief interaction, one should also listen to the incident from the accused’s perspective. Collecting all possible evidence during this interaction is very important. Once the organization is firm with its decision, a lawyer must be consulted before raising a complaint. Once a suitable lawyer is in place, the employer must provide all the necessary evidence to the lawyer and move forward in building the charge with the police keeping in mind all the advice provided by the lawyer.