Indiana Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

Indiana Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The Indiana Civil Rights Law prohibits discrimination in employment because of sex, including sexual harassment (IN Code Sec. 22-9-1-1 et seq.). The Law applies to public employers and private employers with six or more employees.
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Retaliation. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee's complaint about perceived harassment in the workplace and her subsequent complaint about the handling of her complaint constituted protected activity sufficient to support her charge of retaliation (Magyar v. St. Joseph Reg'l Med. Ctr., 544 F.3d 766 (7th Cir. 2008)). In this case, the employee complained to her supervisor about two incidents of alleged harassment by a coworker. The supervisor spoke to the alleged harasser, and there were no further incidents. However, the supervisor never told the employee that the situation had been addressed. After 3 months, the employee complained to the employer's general counsel about the lack of response to her harassment complaint. As a result of the complaint, the supervisor met with the employee. A few days later, the supervisor restructured the employee's part-time job into a position requiring more hours than the employee was able to work. The employee was subsequently discharged, and her termination form was marked "not eligible for rehire." The court concluded that the timing of the restructured position, along with evidence that the supervisor was irritated about the employee's complaint to the general counsel, constituted sufficient evidence of retaliation for the employee to proceed to trial.
Practical tip: Employers should follow up with an employee who complains about harassment to advise the employee of the steps taken to address the complaint ...

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