Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Chamber to address harassment at HR meeting

Posted: Friday, December 22, 2017

With harassment claims against the movie industry, politicians and employers on the rise, the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce will visit the consequences of harassment in the workplace. Jason Clagg, an attorney with Barnes & Thornburg in Fort Wayne, will speak to the HR/Professional Development Group on Friday, January 12. You do not need to be in human resources to join in on this very informative meeting, but an RSVP is required.

Thorough and proper investigations into harassment claims are critical to reducing the potential for litigation - yet many well intentioned employers wind up conducting investigations incorrectly thus increasing their own risk and possible liability. The investigation should be conducted as soon as the harassment complaint is made, but you never know when a complaint may be made. Therefore you need to always be prepared. This begins with developing an understanding of the overall investigative process in advance and being ready with trained personnel or prepared to turn to outside counsel for assistance.

Employers also need to be ready to ensure that interim relief measures, if necessary, are taken once a complaint is made. All of this needs to be accomplished even before the investigation begins, and once you begin, your investigator(s) should know and follow the proper steps for conducting an impartial and thorough investigation including how to interview the complainant, the alleged harasser and witnesses. Once all of the facts are gathered there are best practices to follow for communicating the results of the investigation and for imposing discipline, if necessary. Clagg will help sort out the rights and responsibilities of employers for conducting harassment investigations, and assist businesses to be better prepared if the need to conduct a harassment investigation occurs.

If you would like to learn more about harassment in the workplace, RSVP to skimmel@huntington-chamber.com or by calling the office at (260) 356-5300 by Wednesday, January 10. The HR/Professional Development Group meeting is free but there is a $10 cost for lunch.