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What To Do When An Employee Complains of Being Harassed by a Co-worker?

We often get calls from human resources personnel or owners of companies who have received complaints from their staff or employees that certain individuals are engaging in harassing behaviors. The term harassment is very general and broad and it can encompass any number of actions. What we need to do is to determine what the form of harassment is and why it’s happening. Sometimes, employees feel that they are being ‘harassed’ because they are receiving a performance review, and sometimes they feel harassed because their supervisor is making a change in the way that the job duties are being carried out, they feel that they are being harassed because suddenly the employer is enforcing things like taking a specific lunch hour or not coming in late whereas before there was a bit of flexibility or discretion. So, what needs to be evaluated in this situations is whether the harassment is being engaged in sort of unlawful reason and there obviously the employer is going to have a reason under the law to investigate those reasons and take remedial action to stop whatever that harassment action is or whether the harassment is more along the lines of employees complaining simply because they are having a problem on the job, they are not doing their job effectively and efficiently and as a result of that they feel that they are being harassed when they are called out for their mistakes. If there is a claim of unlawful harassment you absolutely should contact an attorney in New York because there are certain obligations employers have under the law to make sure that harassment stops. It doesn’t necessarily require a termination of the alleged harasser but in some circumstances it may and a lot of that depends on the particular facts and circumstances of the complaint itself as well as if there has been similar complaints against this particular harasser and even other complaints against the company as a whole so the whole situation needs to be evaluated and analyzed from a global perspective so that we can give you appropriate advice on how to deal with that going forward.

This informational blog post was provided by Kim Berg, an experienced White Plains, New York Employment Lawyer.

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