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Workplace Harassment Cases are Most Difficult to Deal With

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In a week when sexual harassment stories are being reported by every media source in the country, a partner at one of the region’s largest law firms says sexual harassment claims can be the most difficult to deal with in the workplace.

Robert Williams is an Employment and Business Law Solicitor with GHP Legal which employs around one hundred people at its offices in Wrexham, Oswestry, Llangollen and Chirk. He added that despite the difficulties faced by employers in such cases, they are under a duty to investigate fairly and objectively all harassment allegations made by their employees.

“The safest way for an employer to deal with such allegations,” he said, “is to bring any subsequent disciplinary proceedings based on admitted facts. Often there will be no corroborating witness evidence and whilst an employer would not wish to “convict” the employee on only one person’s word it is very important that they take the complaint seriously.

“If a claim for harassment is to be brought against an employer it would be usual to rely on the Protection from Harassment Act and require two specific acts of harassment that the employee would find distressing for it to form a course of events to bring an action.  If however the employee is still working there it can make for a very difficult workplace environment unless some sort of mutual separation within the workplace or in terms of the employment contracts can be negotiated.

“From the point of view of the respective employees, and assuming no criminal offences have been committed, then neither the victim nor the perpetrator would be seeking publicity.  This can be a very difficult scenario for the employer to manage as publicity can reflect badly on the employer and also action can be taken against the employer who would usually be liable for the acts of the harassing employee.

“These are difficult cases to take and any employee claiming harassment should be advised of what will be involved.  Ultimately any processes followed could be more distressing than the act perpetrated. Every situation is fact dependant.”

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Over the past 6 years, Rachel has been working specifically within the digital marketing space and has worked with some of the country’s top brands. During this time, Rachel was a key attribute to the success of our sister product, Recruitment Buzz, which has firmly established itself as one of the leading publications within the Recruitment sector. Drawing on her knowledge and experience, Rachel has developed a genuine understanding of how content can engage and compel an audience.

Having a passion for travel and culture, Rachel left her hometown of Cardiff to pursue studies and travel and after several years away, Rachel returned to Cardiff and firmly established herself within the development of Business News Wales. Rachel is now responsible for every aspect of web management, marketing and overall production of the Business News Wales brand.

Having learnt some invaluable skills within the marketing industry, Rachel is often called upon for her skills and knowledge of WordPress, HTML, email marketing software, Photoshop design and social media tools.

 

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