Harassment in the workplace is frustrating, takes up time and energy that could be better spent on your work, and causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. The key to a successful case is reporting everything to your HR department, keeping detailed records of the incidents, and being forthright with your employer. If you hide things or hold back evidence from your employer, you could lose your case.
In Bazemore vs. Performance Food Group, a female employee reported sexual harassment by a coworker. There were no witnesses to the interactions, but the plaintiff, Patricia Bazemore, reported them to her HR department. The HR department began a swift investigation, asking for a statement and interviewing the parties involved. When the investigation was concluded, the offending employee received a written warning and was barred from contact with Bazemore, including access to her office. But after another encounter with her harasser, Bazemore decided to resign and sue for a hostile work environment as well as constructive discharge.
The problem arose when Bazemore revealed her smoking gun: audio recordings of her encounters with her harasser, which were withheld from her company’s HR department. The court ruled that the company had addressed her claims promptly with the evidence they had by investigating the incident and restricting contact.
In addition, the court dismissed the constructive discharge claim on the grounds that the company had measures in place to prevent harassment, including providing employees with an anti-harassment policy at hiring and conducting online anti sexual harassment training annually.
Not all companies provide employees with this kind of protection. If you have been the target ofworkplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.
Our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.