Q: An employee who recently quit made several allegations about the general manager, including an instance of sexual harassment. How should we respond to these complaints since the employee no longer works here?
A: Even though the employee has left the organization, I recommend conducting an investigation into the allegations and taking disciplinary action against the alleged harasser if appropriate. Failing to look into these concerns can invite risk, especially if there are later complaints against the same individual.
When an employee resigns, it's not uncommon for them to share an assortment of complaints on their way out the door. You should sift through and determine whether any of them are related to unlawful activity or safety concerns. These claims are serious enough to warrant an investigation.
Other complaints—such as those about management style, favoritism, or violation of less important company policies—may be worth examining, but they likely don't trigger a duty to investigate in the same way that claims of unlawful activity do. These less risk-inducing claims can be pursued at your discretion.
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