Employers have a duty to investigate any complaint of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. “When an employee complains to management about alleged harassment, the employer is obligated to investigate the allegation regardless of whether it conforms to a particular format or is made in writing.” EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Vicarious Employer Liability for Unlawful Harassment by Supervisors, EEOC Notice No. 915.002 (June 18, 1999).
In conclusion, “[a]n employer who fails to investigate and remedy reported sexually harassing [and other discriminatory] behavior risks being held vicariously liable for the conduct of the harassing employee.” Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998).
Bryan A. Chapman, Esquire