Dealing with workplace harassment and discrimination

Maryland employers that are designing policies around harassment and discrimination may wish to inform employees about the best way to report such behavior. For example, employees should know that it is crucial to document any harassment or discrimination in as much detail as possible. This may include gathering material such as emails and voicemail. Individuals should be encouraged to turn over all the evidence they have despite discomfort about bringing witnesses into the case.

Although gathering evidence to back the claims is important, individuals should not delay reporting the harassment. Doing so might appear to minimize the incidents. Furthermore, witnesses may leave the company and records may disappear as email is deleted off the server.

While it is necessary to report the harassment in a timely manner, individuals should understand an investigation may take time. Furthermore, individuals should not get too attached to the idea of one particular outcome, such as someone being fired. This is a drastic step for a company to take, and the employer’s focus should be on taking an action that stops the harassment or discrimination.

When a company is dealing with charges of harassment or discrimination, it is best to try to handle the incident internally. However, an employee may file a lawsuit. Companies may wish to work with attorneys to craft employment policies that protect both themselves and their employees. For example, companies may seek assistance in creating clear procedures for reporting harassment. Companies may also wish to seek legal advice if an accusation of harassment or discrimination looks as though it may lead to a lawsuit. In some instances, the case may be settled outside of court.

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