Taking a Second Look: Best Practices for Auditing Past Sexual Harassment Claims

The #MeToo movement shed a light on the fact that sexual harassment in the workplace is still a major problem, and employers need to reassess their policies and practices. Supporting the personal experiences of women, the Pew Research Center recently released findings that 62 percent of women in majority-male workplaces say sexual harassment is a problem in their industry. “It’s now necessary for employers to reevaluate how they address sexual harassment, taking a hard look at their reporting procedures, and even reviewing previous harassment claims and auditing how those were handled and investigated,” says Sandra Jezierski, an employment attorney at Nilan Johnson Lewis who guides clients on auditing these types of workplace issues. She advises employers to be proactive, conduct sexual harassment audits, consider the number of allegations received, and whether multiple allegations had been brought against any one individual. Jezierski also recommends employers hire outside counsel to conduct independent investigations, particularly when allegations are made against executive-level employees or if multiple allegations are raised against one individual. Audits can reveal gaps in sexual harassment reporting procedures and investigations, as well as allow organizations to become better workplaces where safety and respect are prioritized. To speak with Sandra Jezierski about auditing sexual harassment claims and creating safe workplaces, contact her at sjezierski@nilanjohnson.com or 612.305.7547.

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