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How do companies investigate harassment at work?

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2022 | Sexual Harassment

Being the victim of workplace harassment in Rhode Island can be a very difficult and upsetting experience. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to know that there are steps that your company can take to investigate the situation and help you feel safe and comfortable at work again.

What is workplace harassment?

Workplace harassment is any behavior that creates a hostile or offensive work environment. This can include sexual harassment, racial harassment and discrimination based on disability, religion, age, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Who will investigate the harassment?

This is usually determined by the HR department or whoever is in charge of handling such complaints. The investigator will interview you and any witnesses to gather as much information about the incident as possible. They will also speak to the accused individual to get their side of the story.

How long will the investigation take?

This depends on the complexity of the situation and whether or not there are any additional steps that need to be taken. This could include having the accused individual placed on leave while the investigation is being conducted. However, most investigations are wrapped up within a few weeks.

What happens after the investigation is complete?

Once the investigator has all of the information they need, they will make a recommendation to either discipline or absolve the accused individual. If they recommend discipline, this could range from a verbal warning all the way up to termination, depending on the severity of the offense.

Investigating cases of workplace harassment is a very serious matter. If you find yourself in this situation, know that there are people who will take it seriously and do everything they can to make sure you feel safe and comfortable at work again.