Oct. 23, 2014
Ruby Blackmon claimed that for a ten-month period, her second-level manager inappropriately stared at her breasts three to 10 times per day, would sexually rub her back, and would breath on her back and ear. Blackmon made ten different complaints to an HR manager, an administrative manager, and her immediate supervisor, all of which were ignored, except for one occasion when her immediate supervisor simply told her that the alleged harasser “liked breasts.” To make matters worse, on the heels of one complaint, her immediate supervisor gave her a negative evaluation. She filed suit after her termination.
Surprisingly, the district court granted this employer’s motion for summary judgment. Not surprisingly, the 6th Circuit reversed in Blackmon v. Eaton Corp. (10/16/14), concluding that genuine issues of material fact exists on the objectively hostile nature of the work environment and on whether there existed a causal nexus between Blackmon’s complaints and her termination.
We know that “He liked breasts” is an inappropriate response to a harassment complaint. What is an appropriate response? Here are 10 steps to follow if you receive a harassment complaint from an employee.
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