Handling Sexual Harassment Situations

Sexual harassment situations and complaints in the workplace are especially serious and usually very complex. Throughout my Human Resources career, I have dealt with and investigated such issues as a plant manager who had an intimate relationship with an hourly employee, a married supervisor who pursued a homosexual relationship with his subordinate, a manager who allegedly exposed himself to a female co-worker, and many complaints of sexually explicit comments and behavior. 

What I learned throughout my career is that every situation is unique due to the variety of people, the varying circumstances, the emotional reactions of the involved parties, and the expected outcomes. No two situations of sexual harassment are ever the same and must be investigated and handled differently. My goal in this chapter is to give you guidance on your initial reaction, the subsequent steps, and how to deal with this from a biblical perspective. Before we talk about that, let’s go through a quick summary definition of harassment and discrimination from a legal standpoint.

From a legal standpoint, complaints of sexual harassment must be responded to immediately, although resolution through the investigative process takes some time. I want to tell you up front that this article is not meant to provide legal advice or counsel. It is imperative that you seek out your Legal and/or HR department immediately when you become aware of a sexual harassment complaint.

Read the whole chapter in Biblical HR.

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Think of Biblical HR as putting the soul back into how we should be treating people as HR leaders and companies as a whole.

Jess Terry
CEO and Principal – Blue Ocean Edge, EVP Operations - Rheia, Former Chief Human Resources Officer – Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc., Former Chief People Officer – Taylor Morrison