Last Updated on March 12, 2023 by Aftab Mughal
The law allows employees to speak against workplace harassment, discrimination, and other kinds of misconduct. Employers are often afraid of dealing with such situations as workplace complaints can lead to tension in the company and even lawsuits. If the employer chooses to stay quiet instead of acting appropriately, their employees can file a workplace discrimination claim against them.
Therefore, knowing how to handle workplace disputes is key to keeping yourself and your company safe. If your employer has come to you with a complaint, you must know exactly how to deal with the situation. You can manage workplace issues like this with the help of a New Jersey employment lawyer.
How to deal with workplace complaints
Believe and listen to the accuser.
Some employers may refuse to believe that injustice or misconduct has been happening in their offices and that they were completely unaware of it. As a result, they choose to believe that the accuser is lying and do not take steps to resolve the dispute. Not believing the accuser can easily land you in court. Always make sure to make the accuser feel heard and conduct proper investigations regarding the claim.
Do not blame the accuser.
No one wants such fuss in their workplaces; therefore, you might get angry upon hearing such complaints because you would have to deal with harassment or discrimination issues. However, employees find it extremely difficult to gather the courage and discuss their harassment or discrimination. Listen to them and be understanding when they come to you with complaints. Remember that the harasser is the problem and not the victim.
Do not retaliate.
Employers often retaliate against employees after they file a complaint. There are various forms of retaliation, such as firing someone after they make a complaint, demoting them, or canceling their promotion. Retaliation is an illegal form of punishment from the employer to an employee for complaining. If you retaliate against an employee, it might land you with some serious legal charges.
Keep the matter confidential.
Keep the details of the complaint as confidential as possible. This means that do not discuss the facts of the matter openly in the workplace until and unless there have not been any confirmations. This avoids gossip and taking sides in the workplace and prevents the guilty from erasing evidence.
Take appropriate actions.
Once you have gathered all information and evidence, make sure you speak with the wrongdoer and take appropriate action. If the misconduct is minor, a warning or demotion may do. However, if the misconduct is severe, such as sexual harassment, threats, stalking, etc., termination may be required for the safety of other people in the workplace.
A Quick Overview
Handling discrimination and harassment complaints is an essential responsibility for any organization, as it affects not only the individuals involved but also the overall workplace culture and morale. It is crucial for employers to create a safe and inclusive workplace environment where employees feel comfortable reporting incidents of discrimination or harassment.
When a complaint is received, it should be taken seriously and handled promptly, following established procedures and policies. Employers should ensure that the person handling the complaint is trained and knowledgeable about discrimination and harassment laws and the organization’s policies.
Confidentiality is also an essential aspect of handling complaints. Employers should respect the privacy of those involved and avoid discussing the matter with individuals not directly involved in the investigation.
It is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the facts surrounding the complaint. Employers should listen to all parties involved and gather evidence to support their findings. A fair and objective investigation will help to ensure that the appropriate action is taken to address the situation.
If discrimination or harassment is found to have occurred, employers should take prompt and effective action to prevent it from happening again. This may include disciplinary action, counseling, training, or changes to policies and procedures.
Read more: Everything you should know about wrongful termination in California.