Q & A – What should I do if an employee tells me that he or she feels “harassed” or is experiencing a “hostile work environment”?

Q. What should I do if an employee tells me that he or she feels “harassed” or is experiencing a “hostile work environment”?

A. You should ask the employee for more information about why he or she feels that way and begin an investigation. Employees may use these terms for their literal rather than their legal meaning. An investigation will reveal whether the conduct is based on a protected status and is a civil rights matter or whether it is an employee relations matter. An employee relations matter may still require employer intervention.