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Ask an Attorney: Are Sexual Harassment Investigations Confidential? July 13, 2017

Downtown Lexington, Lexington-Fayette Central
Ask an Attorney: Are Sexual Harassment Investigations Confidential?, Lexington-Fayette Central, Kentucky

Sexual harassment is an unfortunate pandemic in the workplace, and many employers are uncertain about how to handle claims. For the victim, it can be a sensitive, or even traumatizing topic, especially if coworkers find out. The legal team at Edward E. Dove Attorney at Law in Lexington, KY, advise that sexual harassment investigations carry a lot of gray areas. When confidentiality isn’t upheld, an attorney is necessary to ensure your rights are protected.

Are Sexual Harassment Investigations Confidential?

How Do Workplaces Handle Investigations?

attorney-edward-e-dove-attorney-at-lawAlthough workplace laws are designed to protect against sexual harassment, the protocol for investigating claims lacks development. Since workplaces often handle the issue internally, they likely don’t follow the laws that would be implemented in formal investigative processes. There is no definitive workplace policy that regulates confidentiality in sexual harassment cases. Rather, workplaces create their own based on an understood standard and HR input. Often, the person filing the claim will remain anonymous, but the accused will not. In such cases, a resolution typically develops with information shared only on a need-to-know basis.

What Are Some of the Issues That Arise?

For a claimant to remain protected, they cannot face the accused in a setting to discuss the matter with human resources and upper management. This may lead to an unfair “trial” and termination. At the same time, if the claimant doesn’t remain anonymous, it opens the door for the accused to talk about the claim with other employees. This double-edged sword leaves many employers confused on how to handle confidentiality, and because of this, many sexual harassment cases resolve unfairly or incorrectly. However, to mediate the issue, many companies are now hiring a corporate attorney.

If you feel your sexual harassment claim has been mishandled, turn to the legal team at Edward E. Dove Attorney at Law. An attorney will work closely with you to handle the case, as well as the sensitive nature of the claim. Call (859) 252-0020 today to schedule a consultation and visit their website to learn about their civil rights and criminal law services.

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