Here's How An Employer Can Stop Harassment...
When it comes to claims of racially-based harassment, companies do not like to respond—even though providing an adequate response to illegal behavior is in their best interest. Instead of squashing the careers of those who would harass a coworker or subordinate, many companies go into denial mode, which they believe offers some form of protection. In other words, if they didn’t know or “believe” that harassment was taking place, companies fool themselves into believing they are not legally liable for any damage that may have occurred to an employee’s career. But, deniability doesn’t automatically hold up under the law.
A company is legally responsible for preventing and stopping harassment from occurring. If you believe you are the victim of harassment (including retaliation and experiencing a hostile work environment), you should document everything that is occurring. You must show proof as to why your company must take action.
What can your employer do (or should be doing) to your harasser? Here are some options offered by EEOC regarding harassment in the workplace:
-- oral or writing warnings/reprimands
-- transfer or reassignment
-- salary cut
-- training or counseling of harasser
-- monitoring the harasser to ensure that harassment stops
As you can see there are light and hard-hitting remedies available. It’s your job to know that these options are available to deal with harassment and to suggest some stringent form of punishment is doled out to your abuser. But, you have to prove your case or your company will sleepwalk through your entire ordeal. Document mistreatment, provide the names of witnesses who can verify your accounts and save harassing email and voicemail as proof that your abuser has gone overboard. Then, demand action is taken.
NOTE: Your employer cannot force you to transfer to another department to avoid your harasser. But, you can volunteer to move to another department if it is in the best interest of your career and/or mental health.