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Ask Leslie: What If An Employee Doesn't Want His Report Of Sexual Harassment Investigated?

By Leslie Zieren, The McCalmon Group, Inc.

Dear Leslie:
 

My employee just reported to me sexual harassment by his female coworker, which included unwanted hugs, a kiss on the cheek, as well as repeated texts and emails over the past several months. He "just wants it to stop", but does not want her fired or to have the matter investigated. What should I do?

Signed: Oliver

 

Dear Oliver:

Because you are now aware of the alleged sexual harassment, you have a duty to investigate or to have a third party investigate the matter, despite the wishes of the reporter. You must find out if what he alleges occurred, which will entail interviewing him in depth, interviewing any witnesses to the conduct, and finally, interviewing the alleged harasser. You must determine the facts and then respond appropriately to put you and your organization in the best possible risk management position.

Jack McCalmon and Leslie Zieren are attorneys with more than 50 years combined experience assisting employers in lowering their risk, including answering questions, like the one above, through the McCalmon Group's Best Practices Help Line. The Best Practice Help Line is a service of The McCalmon Group, Inc. Your organization may have access to The Best Practice Help Line or a similar service from another provider at no cost to you or at a discount. For questions about The Best Practice Help Line or what similar services are available to you via this Platform, call 888.712.7667.

If you have a question that you would like Jack McCalmon or Leslie Zieren to consider for this column, please submit it to ask@mccalmon.com. Please note that The McCalmon Group cannot guarantee that your question will be answered. Answers are based on generally accepted risk management best practices. They are not, and should not be considered, legal advice. If you need an answer immediately or desire legal advice, please call your local legal counsel.

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