||Oracle Tips by Burleson
Treat Complainants with Care
IT employees have protected rights to
complain about or report discrimination, harassment, or any other
unlawful acts in the workplace. Even before such a complaint is
filed, all IT managers should be knowledgeable of related laws that
provide protections, and the reactionary behaviors that managers
should not engage in. Any actions taken by the manager, intentional
or otherwise, which appear to be punishment or retaliation for an
employee filing a complaint will provide the complainant with
justification for a retaliation lawsuit.
Retaliation charges may be made even if the
initial complaint is found to be not true as long as the complainant
can prove that they were negatively impacted. Employees who
participate in the investigation of a complaint such as making a
witness statement are also protected. Therefore, employers should
not take wrongful action against IT employees who assist in
investigations. For example, if an employee has been verbally
harassing another employee and it is witnessed by a third employee,
then the witness is free to provide statements to investigating
governmental agencies without fear of retaliation.
There are many actions that could be
considered retaliatory including poor and unfair treatment,
unreasonable and unethical assignments, poor performance appraisals
that are unfounded, demotions, transfers to undesirable job
positions, and so forth.
The employer should address workplace
complaints by focusing on the person responsible for the actions in
the complaint, rather than taking actions that adversely affect the
complainant or any other individuals assisting in the case.
The complainant should be assured by the
employer that the complaint is taken seriously, a full investigation
will be performed and held in confidence within the investigation,
and the complainant will be regularly updated during the process.
The above book excerpt is from:
Firing Computer Professionals
manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause"