The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) recently issued a decision that reads like a “what not to do” in response to employee complaints.
When one employee complained to her manager about sexual harassment and assault by a coworker, the company looked into the matter but failed to protect her. In fact, the company actually started treating both the complaining employee and the manager as outsiders, and refused to hire them for the next season of work.
The employee and her manager were awarded $90,000 in emotional distress damages on top of their economic damages. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing also imposed a $15,000 fine on the employers.
The worst thing about this turn of events? It was completely avoidable. It’s important to remember that even if your managers follow up on employee complaints, the follow-through has to run across all levels of your organization. Otherwise, you could find yourself being sued not just by the complaining employee, but by his or her manager too.
We’ll have the full story on this decision—including what the company should have done—in an upcoming issue of CEA.
How To Survive an Employee Lawsuit: 10 Tips for Success
With lawsuits against employers becoming ever more common—and jury verdicts skyrocketing—your risk of getting sued has increased dramatically even if you’ve done all the right things. Learn how to protect yourself with our free White Paper, How To Survive an Employee Lawsuit: 10 Tips for Success.