Retaliation for Reports of Workplace Harassment — A Guide for Employers
It is an unfortunate fact that an increased number of people are searching for the best work harassment lawyer Atlanta GA has to offer. At Barrett & Farahany, we have seen an increase in workplace retaliation lawsuits in recent years. We know that many employers feel very confused and worried about what they can do to mitigate this serious issue.
If an employee files a complaint about workplace harassment or discrimination, it is your duty as their employer to take it seriously and handle the situation with concern and understanding. However, some employers decide to punish victims, which can result in a costly lawsuit and loss of an employee. Even the best work harassment lawyer Atlanta GA can provide would probably note that these lawsuits can be painful processes for employers and even more difficult for the victims.
At Barrett & Farahany, we strive to help victims maintain their dignity and prepare them for the necessary litigation, but we also coach employers on how to handle sexual harassment complaints the right way. Below is our overview of retaliation and the consequences that employers may face.
What Actions are Considered Retaliatory?
Any action a company takes against an employee because of a harassment or discrimination can be considered retaliatory. Some examples of such adverse actions include but are not limited to:
- Negative performance evaluations
- Pay reduction
It is important to remember that protection from retaliation applies to the victim and anyone else who participates in the investigation. Employees who offer information or were asked for information are protected from retaliation by management.
Note that the employees are still protected even if the complaint is found to be false or baseless. Employers still cannot retaliate even if the complaint is fabricated. A best work harassment lawyer in Atlanta GA may provide you with specific office guidelines and examples of retaliation to avoid in case a situation arises.
How Do You Avoid Unintentional Retaliation?
You may have the best of intentions and still commit retaliation, as even the best work harassment lawyer Atlanta GA businesses rely on might attest. For example, if a complaint arises about an employee’s supervisor and you move them to a different office, you are not being helpful; you might actually be liable for retaliation.
Your actions could be interpreted in such a way because the victim’s employment was affected after they filed the complaint rather than the alleged harasser, and that can be interpreted easily as retaliation. An Atlanta, GA work harassment lawyer would likely suggest to focus instead on the purveyor of harassment if you wish to ease the victim. Our team at Barrett & Farahany has experience prosecuting retaliation cases and we may give you a better idea of actions you should avoid to keep victims safe.
Proper Ways to Handle a Complaint
Sensitivity about a complaint of sexual harassment or discrimination is crucial. Discipline when necessary is a part of being an employer, but you must be careful to not fall into a position where you are misconstrued as retaliatory against an employee that filed a complaint.
If you have found that the employee has behaved in a way that warrants discipline, be sure to provide proper documentation and proof that pertains to the behavior. If there is an absence of proof and the discipline is perceived to relate to the complaint of harassment, then you could face legal consequences.
Workplace Training and Legal Advice From the Best Work Harassment Lawyer Atlanta GA Workers and Businesses Trust
Workplace harassment cases can be expensive and stressful. If you are looking to provide a policy for sexual harassment in your offices, our team at Barrett & Farahany may be able to help. Speak to one of our experienced attorneys about sexual harassment training and other services to ensure a safe workplace for your employees. If you believe your business would benefit from the best work harassment lawyer Atlanta GA provides, please contact our office today.