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3 tips for handling discrimination complaints

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2024 | Business Law

If your employee reports a discrimination case, you need to take it seriously. If such a complaint is not handled effectively, you may end up facing costly lawsuits.

Here are three tips to help you:

Learn more about the incident

When an employee informs you that they were discriminated against, learn more about how it happened, where it happened, who was involved, who witnessed the incident and so on. Doing this helps you determine the nature of the complaint and its severity.

Let your employee know they won’t experience retaliation

Your employee should know they did the right thing reporting the case to you. Let them know they won’t be treated differently for reporting.

If you need to take immediate measures, such as separating the complainant and the alleged harasser by changing their shifts or giving one of them a leave of absence, be extra careful, as these actions can be viewed as retaliatory. 

Investigate the case immediately

After gathering enough information from the employee, consider investigating the case immediately. Your employee may believe you have ignored their complaint if you don’t initiate an investigation on time.

Investigating the case involves interviewing the alleged harasser, getting statements from witnesses, viewing CCTV footage and so on. Keep a record of all findings from your investigation. 

You can investigate the case by yourself or choose someone without a personal relationship with the involved parties to do so. Regardless of who conducts the investigation, they should maintain confidentiality, be attentive to details and have strong communication skills.

The investigation should determine if the complaint is valid or not. If the discrimination occurred, determine the appropriate way forward.  

If your employee takes legal action against you because they disagree with how you handled their discrimination complaint, legal guidance can help you protect your business.