PCA Plus, July – August 2016
Reprinted with permission of Private Club Advisor.
In a situation where an employee accuses another employee of harassment and the accused denies the incident, and there are no independent witnesses or other evidence to support either employee’s version of the events, there are specific steps to take to protect yourself and the club. Michael Lowenbaum of Lowenbaum Law in St. Louis, MO, has a suggested strategy.
“Go to the alleged harasser and inform him/her that people usually don’t come forward unless a situation happened, so if someone speaks up and says that something happened, it probably did,” he explained. “Tell that employee that you are writing up the situation and keeping the document so if someone else comes forward with a similar accusation, disciplinary action will occur.”
Lowenbaum also stressed the importance of maintaining documentation of any investigation.
“Next, go to the alleged victim and let her/him know that appropriate disciplinary action has been taken (don’t say specifically what), and then say if this happens again or if the employee experiences any retaliation, to come to you immediately.” This strategy should protect you from legal ramifications in this type of situation, Lowenbaum concluded.
Private Club Advisor is a monthly business letter intended to education and inform Executives and Administrators of Private Clubs by Club Advisory Communications Corp.