We've had a complaint of harassment from one female employee (A) against another female (B), following a work function. As far as we know, both employees are heterosexual. A asked B if she could stay at B's house following the function and B agreed. A also asked B if she could share B's bed (the spare bed had no sheets on). Both A and B were drunk. The following morning A accused B of having made a sexual advances in the middle of the night. B says she cannot recall the incident and seems genuinely upset and embarrassed about the situation. Employee A didn't raise the complaint for five days but has now issued a written grievance. We have suspended B and A has been signed off work with stress. Some senior managers are of the view that we have no alternative but to dismiss B.Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 4 May 2010
Even though this happened after a work night out (paid for by the company), this allegation happened in B's home and I don't feel that this should be handled as a work dispute. If A is serious about her allegations, I think she should have reported it to the police. Have you any ideas about how we should handle the situation?
I don't envy you having to deal with this. It is a very delicate situation and I have some sympathy with your reaction that this should not be dealt with as a work-related matter.
The key issue here is whether you as an employer could be considered to be vicariously
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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 22/10/2015
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