What to Do if You Have Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

As a small business owner in San Diego, you strive to provide your employees with a safe working environment. As such, it can be quite shocking to learn that a member of your team is being sexually harassed in the workplace. Once you move past that shock, however, you will realize that you need to take action to resolve the situation. In most cases, you will need to follow these steps:

Speak to the Employee

When you receive a report of sexual harassment from an employee, your first step should almost always be to sit down and discuss the matter with the complainant. Let them know that you have received their report and will be looking into it. You should also reassure them that they will not face any retaliation for filing the complaint.

This conversation is an extremely important part of the resolution process. As such, you may wish to have a California employment lawyer present to make a record of the discussion.

Speak to the Accused Individual

Having spoken to the complainant, you will need need to discuss the matter with the individual who has been accused of sexual harassment. During your chat, you should inform them that they are the subject of an official complaint. You can then walk them through the process that you will be following to resolve the issue.

During this meeting, you can also take some time to explain that your company will not tolerate any acts of retribution or retaliation against the complainant. If necessary, you can have your attorney draft a short document for the accused individual to sign which acknowledges their commitment to a fair process.

Investigate the Employee’s Claims

Once you have spoken to both parties, you will next need to begin investigating your employee’s claims of sexual harassment in the workplace. You can, of course, handle this probe internally. However, you may feel more comfortable if you enlist the help of a business attorney in San Diego.

No matter who leads the investigation, the process will almost certainly involve:

  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Reviewing texts and emails
  • Examining social media posts
  • Analyzing past employee evaluations

In most cases, this investigation should take no longer than a few weeks.

Decide on a Plan of Action

When the investigation period is finished, you will need to decide what to do next. If the probe found no evidence of workplace harassment, you must figure out how to break the news to both parties in a way that will allow them both to continue their careers within your organization.

On the other hand, if the investigation found plenty of evidence of sexual harassment in the workplace, you will need to decide how to deal with the offender. You may opt to hand them a written warning, suspend them, or even fire them. Your California employment lawyer will be able to help you determine what your plan of action should be.

Your Trusted Small Business Attorney in San Diego

When you need a California attorney to help you navigate a sexual harassment claim in the workplace, please do not hesitate to give the Semanchik Law Group team a call at (619) 535-1811. We can help you get through this challenging situation as seamlessly as possible.