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Addressing claims of sexual harassment in the workplace

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2021 | Firm News |

It can be difficult to manage the different personalities and work styles of an office full of employees. From interpersonal conflicts and disputes between supervisors and subordinates, an Alaska business may work tirelessly to maintain a safe and hospitable place for their personnel to function. However, some workplace problems can become legal dilemmas when claims of sexual harassment are lodged.

Employers who face sexual harassment allegations from their employees have options for dealing with these sensitive and problematic claims. It is advisable for entities to seek legal counsel from employment law attorneys to ensure that their specific legal problems are promptly and comprehensively managed. This post does not provide legal advice and is informational in content.

Timeliness in a response to sexual harassment claims

One mistake that employers make when addressing claims of sexual harassment is waiting too long to take action. An employee who believes that they have been made the victim of the sexually inappropriate conduct from a co-worker or supervisor may escalate their complaints up the chain of command if they do not receive a response. When an employee can demonstrate that they brought their concerns to multiple levels of management without getting support or relief for their claims, it may be difficult for the employer to overcome the appearance that they ignored the employee’s grievances.

Appropriate action to address claims of sexual harassment

A timely response to a sexual harassment allegation is not the only thing an employer must do to protect itself from liability for possible legal action. They should also take appropriate corrective action, if the claim is investigated and substantiated, to stop the harassment from continuing. Appropriate action can involve working with the alleged victim and their alleged harasser separately to ensure each knows their rights and options for moving forward in their employment.

There is no one set of actions an employer should follow in every case involving a claim of sexual harassment in the workplace. Responses can be tailored to specific claims and the needs of the affected employers. Employment law attorneys are knowledgeable about sexual harassment and other critical employment problems that can complicate the functioning of Alaska businesses and entities.