Bad HR advice: 'Put on your big girl panties'.

When fielding an employee's complaint about a co-worker, it may be tempting for managers (or even HR) to suggest the alleged victim try to resolve the matter herself instead of filing a full-blown complaint. That's not smart.

The law does not allow you to suggest self-help as a remedy for harassment complaints. Employers have an unambiguous responsibility to prevent workplace harassment and put a stop to it when it does occur.

Recent case: Over four years, female staff at a Walmart in New York regularly complained that a male employee regularly commented on their breasts and sometimes pressed his crotch up against their bodies.

When one woman brought this to management, instead of an...

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