Discrimination and Harassment Complaints

Helping Businesses Handle Discrimination and Harassment Complaints

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Watch this educational legal video about what a business should do if they are receiving discrimination and harassment complaints by Andrew P. Fleming, one of our experienced employment lawyers in Hamburg, NY.

Over the last 10 to 15 years, our firm has been representing more and more employers in the workplace. Historically, my practice started out representing employees; however, over the last several years, I’ve been representing more and more employers. In setting up my relationships with employers, I open a general file so that their Human Resources people – or the people who are managing their businesses – can call and ask me questions about common things that might affect them. Then, I might be driving down the road and I’ll return their calls while I’m on my cell phone and say, “What’s going on?”

One of the things many employers call me about is discrimination and harassment complaints in the workplace by one of their employees. They ask, “What am I supposed to do?” Upon receipt of a legitimate harassment complaint, the employer has three obligations. One is to take a full statement from the person making the allegation. Second, they must conduct a timely investigation. Third, after deciding whether or not harassment occurred, the employer must take appropriate corrective action.

The first thing I say to employers who call me is, “Find out what happened.” That’s basically what an investigation entails. You take statements from any witnesses, and certainly that of the person making the complaint. Then, you weigh what actually happened. If you believe the harassment occurred, the appropriate corrective action may be to fire the harasser, but that isn’t always necessary. Appropriate corrective action is a legal expression over which lawyers have argued for 20 years – and it does not always have to include termination, although that is what sometimes happens.

The experienced Hamburg employment lawyers at Chiacchia & Fleming, LLP have extensive experience in aggressively representing the rights of employees in age discrimination claims as well as other workplace disputes. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Let our experience work for you.

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