Sexual harassment in the workplace can occur despite policies and procedures in place to prevent it. When an employer receives a claim from an employee that they have been the victim of sexual harassment, it is incumbent on the employer to investigate the validity of the claim and take appropriate action if necessary. A Florida school system had to do exactly that when two teachers claimed a fellow employee made inappropriate and unwanted gestures toward them.
This is the second time this particular employee has been accused of sexual harassment during his employment with the Florida school system. During this latest investigation, the man was put on leave with pay. After the investigation came to a close, the school board voted to suspend the employee without pay for 20 days, and he was moved to another school to resume his employment.
Victims of sexual harassment may not always report it to their employers for fear of retaliation from their coworkers, including the alleged perpetrator. It is up to the employer to do what they can to provide every employee with a hostile-free workplace. Employers have an equal obligation to look into all claims without regard to gender or whom the claim is made against.
Being sexually harassed at work can cause mental and emotional distress. Some victims even resort to quitting their jobs due to sexual harassment. If an employee believes they have been inappropriately treated, it is important to report the behavior to his or her employer. If the matter is not handled to the employee's satisfaction, then he or she may decide to go outside the employer for what he or she believes would be a more appropriate resolution. Enlisting the help of someone familiar with the complaint process may help ensure an employee's concerns are heard.
Source: ocala.com, "Board won't seek to fire school worker for sexual harassment," Joe Callahan, April 24, 2013