Never Ignore Employee Complaints, Even the Silly Ones

Never Ignore Employee Complaints, Even the Silly Ones Image: Granny Enchanted, via Wikimedia Commons

Human resources managers have to field some unbelievable discrimination and harassment complaints sometimes, explains Constangy, Brooks & Smith partner Robin Shea on Employment & Labor Insider. For example, she says, imagine a female employee goes to HR because her boss “always looks me right in the eye, and when he smiles, I can see his teeth.”

While the charges may seem silly, Shea advises against simply dismissing them. Instead, she suggests the HR manager determine what the employee wants done to resolve the problem and document the answers. Assuming there is no actual discrimination, harassment or retaliation, she says the manager should respectfully explain to the employee that the actions are being misinterpreted.

Be sure to thank the employee for making the report and then decide whether the accused party should be notified. Shea says it’s important to investigate whether there are any other complaints about the person from different employees.

She says before putting the matter to rest, document everything that happened, including why you did or did not respond. Finally, Shea says, send the accuser an abbreviated email, thanking her for the talk, summarizing the resolution and inviting her to let you know if there are any other issues.

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