As an employer in Nevada, your day-to-day operations are what you spend most of your time thinking about. Unfortunately, along with the benefits of being a boss come the occasional challenges of managing employees. Because harassment and discrimination are such hot topics when it comes to employment, it is important that you understand how to handle a complaint exactly when it is filed. This protects your business from unwanted claims in the future.

The important thing to remember, according to FindLaw, is that the complaint be handled immediately. If it is not, then the lack of an investigation may lead to a lawsuit. You should use the following steps as a guideline if someone files a harassment complaint.

  • Listen to what the accuser has to say and always take complaints seriously
  • Never retaliate against the person filing the complaint and keep it confidential
  • Conduct and document a thorough investigation into the complaint
  • For extra protection, you can hire an independent third party to handle the investigation
  • Once it is determined that the party is guilty, discipline is a must

Even if you have never noticed that discrimination or harassment goes on, do not let that fool you into not taking a complaint seriously. Never make assumptions about the complainant’s integrity or whether they are telling the truth. It is important that you recognize if the complaint involves any type of illegal discrimination based on national origin, race, sex, religion, age, disability or any other protected class.

The investigation should include information about what happened, who saw it happen, where it occurred and what was said. If you are completing the investigation yourself, you should take care to separate opinion from fact. Gather physical evidence such as schedules, timecards, email and any notes taken during meetings. If you find yourself in a lawsuit after an employee files a complaint, you may benefit from seeking the help of an employment and labor attorney.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.