Handling harassers in the workplace.

This is simple - if someone assaults another employee - they should be terminated. Period.  It should not matter that the assault was of a sexual nature. It's illegal and you have an obligation to protect your employees from the abusive individual.

More importantly don't view it as a one off situation. As the various harassment scandals have rocketed through our news, one thing is very clear - sexually predator males - are predators. They have way more than one victim.  The person coming forward is just the person with enough courage and - an "ah heck no" attitude to say - what happened is wrong. The women and men who speak out - are heroes. The abusers - are not.

The reason companies retain the abuser and fire the victim is usually because the abuser has convinced the employer that they are essential. And it may seem like it. After all - they seem to be the most productive. What managers aren't seeing and paying attention to is just how much time, energy and resources everyone else is spending to cater to the needs of the abuser.

If you have to spend 25 to 50% of your day catering to the needs of an abusive person - yeah - your work productivity suffers. It's not that the abuser is so productive, it's that they are making everyone else - less productive.

Can you fire them? Yes - if you have conducted an investigation and found reason to believe the allegation is true. That should be the end of it. The person should be fired. Yours is a workplace - not a court of law. The standard is not - guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It's - are they contributing to the workplace or not. If they are harassing and assaulting their fellow employees - they are a net drain and need to go.

Let's stop coddling these predators and start making space for everyone else to flourish.

PS - here is a legal run down that was posted in the wake of the Matt Lauer situation at the Today Show.

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