“If I could sum up why I’m committed to the HR Girlfriends community it would come down to because we are ‘….in this together.'”

~Sana’ Rasul, Chief Girlfriend

Q&A: Should We Interview an Employee Accused of Harassment Before Terminating Them?

Question:
We received credible reports from several employees and witnesses concerning sexual harassment by a manager. I feel confident in proceeding with termination, but we have not interviewed the accused manager. Should we get “his side of the story” before terminating?

Answer from Kyle, PHR:
Yes, you’re on safer ground terminating the accused employee if you interview him as part of your investigation – and do the same for other employees accused of harassment. In this case, you might not learn anything that would change your mind about the termination, but it’s still a possibility. More importantly, if the terminated employee were to challenge your decision, you would be able to show that he wasn’t treated any differently than other accused employees.

If you were to skip the interview with him, while typically interviewing other employees who have been accused of harassment or misconduct, he could claim that your decision in his case was discriminatory. A consistent practice protects you against discrimination claims, and since you’ll often need to talk to accused employees to get a full picture of what happened, it’s best to consistently interview all employees accused of wrongdoing.

 

Kyle is a professional author, editor, and researcher specializing in workplace culture, retention strategies, and employee engagement. He has previously worked with book publishers, educational institutions, magazines, news and opinion websites, nationally-known business leaders, and non-profit organizations. He has a BA in English, an MA in philosophy, and a PHR certification.

Leave a comment

Never miss an opportunity to earn HRCI/SHRM credits, identify a mentor, or connect 1:1 with another HR Girlfriend in your city or across the country.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Author picture

HR Girlfriends™ is a Human Resources networking organization dedicated to advancing the practice and culture of people empowerment. Our team of Girlfriends consult, train, educate, develop, share, promote, and advocate for solutions in the field of human resource management.

Are You IN?
Or Are You OUT?

It’s time you join forces with a community of like-minded peers ready to tackle the issues unique to the women of HR.
  • All
  • Affirmation
  • Career Mondays
  • Certification
  • COVID-19
  • CyberSAFE
  • Guest Blogger
  • HR Advisor
  • HR Law Alert
  • HR Q&A
  • HR Reading
  • HR Reel Talk
  • Join Our Team - Apply Now
  • Membership
  • Talent Management
All
  • All
  • Affirmation
  • Career Mondays
  • Certification
  • COVID-19
  • CyberSAFE
  • Guest Blogger
  • HR Advisor
  • HR Law Alert
  • HR Q&A
  • HR Reading
  • HR Reel Talk
  • Join Our Team - Apply Now
  • Membership
  • Talent Management
Affirmation

Affirmation: I outline the big picture on my canvas before I paint in the small intricate details

Just as a painter envisions his masterpiece, I envision living my dreams. I know where I am going and how I plan to get there. ...
Read More →
HR Q&A

Q&A: A remote employee’s roommate has been disrupting their work to the point that their performance is suffering. How should we handle this?

This situation should be handled the same way you’d manage most work disruptions affecting an employee’s performance. Start by having a conversation with the employee ...
Read More →
Affirmation

Affirmation: The time to go after my dreams is now.

Only I hold the power to create the life I desire. I want to make my dreams come true so each day I work on ...
Read More →
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap