One of the most important facets of a sexual harassment accusation is usually forgotten – the potential for retaliation.
Every employer should have a concrete non-harassment policy in their handbook, with a receipt page, as well as a grievance procedure. The standard non-harassment policy must ensure alleged victims will not be retaliated against in any way. Should an accusation take place, the employer must respond immediately with a thorough, and unbiased, investigation.
Even when all of these issues are done, the potential for retaliation is still there. I’ve dealt with this many times. Even when the employer does everything right, if retaliation can be proven, it can be quite costly in terms of legal fees and a potential buyout or judgement.
Here’s a case from Richardson, Texas where even the slightest thought of potential retaliation has put an employer (who did everything right) back in court.
Courtesy of Fisher & Phillips.