The Vermont Department of Labor is in place in order to protect the rights and benefits to which employees of any employer in the State are entitled. Those rights include access to a safe working environment. The workplace should also be free of harassment, including sexual harassment or harassment because of sexual orientation.
The Vermont Department of Labor takes complaints of harassment very seriously. They may investigate the complaint quietly at first, perhaps sending in an observer to the location where the harassment is said to be taking place.
Once the investigations begins, the Vermont Department of Labor will interview any witnesses to the harassment. Those interviews may include the presence of a labor lawyer, but the employer of the accused does not have to be present for the interviews.
The Vermont Department of Labor will also interview former employees or anyone else that may have filed a complaint in the past, even if the complaint was dropped.
The Vermont Department of Labor will continue their investigations until the issue has been settled. If it is found that harassment did in fact occur, they will attempt to rectify the situation. If however, the employee made obviously false allegations, they will face charges.
Employees are entitled to many rights from the State of Vermont and from the Federal Government. Those rights include access to a workplace which is free from harassment. When investigations reveal harassment in a workplace, the Vermont Department of Labor will take steps to ensure that it is prevented in the future. If the case is severe, they may turn it over for criminal prosecution, in which case the penalties for harassment may also be severe, especially if it is considered a hate crime. If you need legal advice and assistance, contact Vermont lawyers.