A “Poor Performer” Now Claims Harassment and Retaliation. What Should I Do?

A Kantola Learning Minute


An HR professional asks, "What do I do when an employee complains about harassment and retaliation just days after being written-up by his boss for his failure to do his job properly?" Find out in this week's Kantola Learning Minute with workplace trainer Linda Garrett, JD.



Transcript:
Hi, I'm Linda Garrett with a Kantola Learning Minute. Here's an interesting question from an HR professional at a large company. She asks, "What do I do when an employee complains about harassment and retaliation just days after being admonished by his boss about his failure to do his job properly? Now he says his work difficulties are due to the stress he is under due to a hostile work environment and that the bad performance review he got was done in retaliation for him coming forward earlier for a complaint of harassment. What a mess. What do I do now?"

Well, it can sure seem like a tangled mess can't it. You have one set of facts but two explanations. The important thing is to look at the documentation. Hopefully, there will be good documentation of his past performance and you'll be able to see is this a good performer who suddenly isn't performing well, or is this someone who has always performed marginally?

Secondly, if he came forward with a harassment complaint, did his boss document that? Was there an investigation? You'd want to know, and that will help you, again, come to a conclusion about what's really going on here. You may have to interview others to find out what the environment is like in that workplace but, again, the documentation will help you know what to do. It may even be that they're both right. The performance has dropped and it's also a harassing environment. The important thing is that you get to the truth.

Good luck. Thank you for sharing this interesting problem with us.

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