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Employer's obligations when employee reports sexual harassment

Olympia, WA |

An employee reported to me a few days ago that she experienced a sexual harassment at my business, that her supervisor told her "sit on my lap" when she asked if she could have a seat in the office. What steps do I need to take as the employer? The supervisor denies of any of the sexual harassment he is accused of. I was planning on firing the accuser for her inability to perform her job anyhow. How do I make sure to the accuser and accused that the firing is independent of the sexual harassment reporting? Please explain with details. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 1

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One instance of an allegedly unwanted semi-sexual innuendo may not be sufficient grounds for a sexual harassment lawsuit.
As an employer, you should document everything. You should counsel your personnel and provide training regarding the law and your company policy. You should probably retain an attorney to discuss the details of those at greater length.
In order to establish that a termination of employment is not retaliatory, you should document the deficient performance thoroughly.

[In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship.]

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