Tread Lightly When Fielding Member Complaints About Employees
You may encounter a situation where a member of the community association you manage complains about a maintenance or other type of worker who’s left alone with the member. But what if it isn’t clear exactly what the employee may have done wrong? Sometimes, an interaction might be described in general terms as “creepy” or as having made the member feel “scared.” But if the member didn’t say anything specific that the worker did that was inappropriate and you’ve never had any complaints before, you should tread lightly.
Although you can’t take any chances when it comes to sexual harassment, you shouldn’t fire or suspend the worker without pay if there’s no proof. But you can’t sit back and do nothing, either. Your best plan of action is to take steps to investigate the complaint. As with any complaints that deal with harassment in the community, it’s key to contact the association’s attorney for guidance.
But, on your own, speak to the worker and other residents whom he has visited on maintenance calls. And during your investigation, have another employee go on maintenance visits with the worker. Although you should take precautionary measures by not allowing the worker to be alone with residents until the investigation is complete, don’t act impulsively. The first step is investigating the complaint against the worker, not firing him.