Sexual Harassment

You can be sure that sexual harassment is alive and well in corporate America. Just ask Monica. So, if you've had your head in the sand, hoping this would "all blow over," better think again.

To paraphrase a popular saying, "Lawsuits happen."

How you handle a sexual harassment complaint will make all the difference in the world should there be a suit.

As a management person in your firm, your decisions not only affect you, but all the other people in the firm, including its owners.

Follow these guidelines should you find yourself face to face with a sexual harassment issue.

Take it seriously. If a person is taking time to make a complaint, it's serious. Treat the person accordingly.

Call in the troops. If you have a Human Resources specialist on staff, go directly to that person to review company policies. If not, go to your managing partner to get outside counsel.

Just the facts ma'am. You are not the judge and jury. Don't make judgment calls such as, "I can't believe [the person charged] would do that." You are the collector of facts.

Shhhhh. Remember to keep your investigation confidential. Every manager doesn't need to know about the problem. Reputations can be ruined over false claims and the last thing you need is to complicate the matter with altered behavior toward the claimant.

Write it down. Write it down. Write it down. Is that clear enough? Document everything and include times and dates on your reports.

Reality check. Are you overreacting? Are you being helpful? Are you being the manager you need to be to the person sitting in front of you? Be assured that you can handle the situation.

Take responsibility. Take charge of the situation and don't pass the buck. Make sure that you follow the complaint through to the end. If the employee decides to stay, make sure s/he is comfortable in the work environment.

Review additional resource listings on things to do to avoid sexual harassment in the workplace.

You may like these other stories...

A recent study of lateral hiring trends in the accounting industry by the Chicago-based executive search practice the Koltin Consulting Group (KCG) has found that in the first half of 2014 firms continue to lure top talent...
Without getting into all that's been written about the jobless recovery and record high corporate profits without the accompanying hiring, there has indeed been a fundamental shift in how corporate America is working...
Read more by Rita Keller here.I recently read a tweet by my music-teacher son regarding his fifth-grade musicians: “My fifth-grade flutes and clarinets just exhaust me. They have so much energy and ask sooooo many...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
Sep 30
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Oct 21
Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience's communication style.
Oct 23
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.