Do we need to conduct an investigation?
Question: Do we need to conduct an investigation if one of our employees has accused another employee of harassment at a non-work event?
Answer from Jenny, SPHR, SHRM-SCP: Absolutely. It is important to remember that not all interactions between employees take place at work, and these non-work interactions can ultimately affect the workplace, potentially contributing to a hostile work environment. For example, if an employee made threatening comments about a certain racial group at a social event and these comments were heard by another employee, that employee may feel afraid or unsafe coming into work.
Given that employers are required to provide a workplace free from harassment, it’s best to investigate these situations promptly and thoroughly. You can find more information about harassment and workplace investigations on the platform.
This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.
Over her 20 years of experience, Jenny has specialized in helping small to mid-sized businesses across a variety of industries reduce their risks and manage employee relationship issues. Jenny holds a Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a concentration in Human Resources Management from Georgia State University.
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