There are a number of missteps an employer can make when faced with an employee accused of harassment or discrimination.
But the easiest mistake to avoid is often the first decision an employer makes - to ignore that accusation.
Employers are mandated to take "prompt corrective action". In most cases, that means conducting an independent, unbiased workplace investigation; consulting with a labor attorney; avoiding retaliation; and taking appropriate action against the accused.
These steps are appropriate and necessary for all businesses. I'm constantly amazed, however, how large corporations replete with well-staffed human resources employees get accused in this area.
Case in point: The Cheesecake Factory, which was recently sued by the EEOC for failing to respond to accusations of same-sex sexual harassment.
The case is documented by Melissa Fleischer, Esq. in the Employment Law Information Network blog.