Your Florida employer should have a program in place to address employee complaints of sexual harassment. These programs are typically overseen and investigated by the company’s human resources (HR) department.
Unfortunately, there are no specific laws for HR personnel to refer to during a sexual harassment investigation. Many sexual harassment victims wonder if their complaint is receiving sufficient attention. How do you know if HR is doing what it should?
Recommended steps for HR personnel
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has published a guide regarding what effective sexual harassment investigations look like. If the HR staff in your workplace is not following the steps below (or similar ones), you might need to seek help elsewhere. The HR department should:
- Take all formal and informal complaints seriously.
- Make efforts to ensure your workplace comfort during the investigation.
- Inform you and the person that harassed you of their next steps in resolving the matter.
- Begin an unbiased and thorough investigation as soon as possible.
- Interview the involved parties and carefully review any documentation provided.
- Conclude the incident as quickly as possible, including how to address the harassment (termination, training, etc.) if they decide that wrongdoing occurred.
- Inform all parties about the decisions they have reached.
- Ensure that you are comfortable with the resolution of your complaint and your current work environment.
- Follow up with you periodically to ensure all harassment has ended and that you remain comfortable at work.
If your company has no HR department and your employer is not addressing your complaint, you can still find a solution. The first step for many is learning how Florida employment laws help with workplace sexual harassment cases.