Investigating claims of harassment

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Employment Law

When a Minnesota employer receives a harassment complaint, an investigation must follow promptly. Delaying the investigation can further compound the issue and lead to legal problems for the employer. When investigating a claim, the employer needs to follow the proper steps to complete the investigation and determine what action, if any, needs to be taken. 

Investigating a claim 

When one receives a complaint related to harassment at the workplace, keeping a record of the complaint and all related contact with the accused and accuser is essential. Witnesses should be interviewed when applicable records of their statements should be included in the file. If the accuser has evidence of harassment via text messages, emails, or surveillance footage, copies of that evidence should also be kept in the file. 

When investigating a harassment claim, it’s important to remain neutral and thoroughly investigate the claim, even if the accusations seem questionable. Keep the investigation confidential and refrain from discussing the issue with colleagues except when necessary. Never retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint. Retaliation in the workplace is illegal and could lead an employee to take legal action. 

Legal advice 

It’s important to take all harassment complaints seriously and to investigate each complaint before deciding. Without a thorough investigation, an employee may decide to take legal action against their employer. Even with a full investigation, an employee may seek compensation from an employer if they don’t agree with the outcome of the investigation. Any Minnesota employer who has questions about their rights and obligations concerning employee harassment claims can benefit from speaking with an employment law attorney.