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© 2007-19 Contact Lawrie Cherniack

Resolution of Harassment Complaints

Whether informally or formally made, a complaint of harassment–whether sexual or other–can have a major impact on a workplace and create tremendous stress for employees, unions, and managers.  It can also create tremendous stress for employers as well as unions.  Legalistic approaches can create more problems than they solve.

Why use a third-party mediator?

Lawrie Cherniack acted as a lawyer and a mediator in many different harassment cases.  Formal and legalistic approaches to harassment allegations, in his experience, often create more problems than they solve.  The formalistic investigations discourage solutions and encourage adversarial relations.  

So many of those cases really started off with misunderstandings and miscommunications, originally with little malice, that ultimately built into more difficult situations because they had not been addressed fully at the beginning.  

A problem-solving, less legalistic, approach can often undo years of misunderstandings and allow employees to work together.  Such an approach can take many forms, but its essence consists of some very basic concepts: listening carefully to people, looking for misunderstandings and identifying them, encouraging an understanding of the other person, finding common ground, and developing a sense of responsibility as well as a sense of compassion.   

This approach has worked wonders in many situations.  Disputants have found themselves able to work together again.  The workplace itself has become a better place to work.