ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Wednesday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a public apology in response to some of the sexual harassment allegations against him. “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable,” said Cuomo.
NEWS10 asked Rose Miller, President of Pinnacle Human Resources, if that would be an acceptable response when investigating sexual harassment in the workplace. “I think in 2021 it doesn’t hold water anymore. You can’t use that explanation anymore,” said Miller.
Miller has been working in human resources for nearly forty years. She said this type of alleged behavior has been historically accepted in government agencies. “It’s one of the sectors that have not really addressed what’s going on and it is ironic that it is the same sector that mandated it for everyone else,” said Miller.
Fortunately, she said we’re seeing more education on the subject and more diversity in the workplace so the tide is turning. “They’re calling it out and they’re saying what’s with this?,” said Miller.
She said it’s critically important that each complaint is fully reviewed with both sides and handled on a case by case basis. Once a fair and impartial investigation is complete she said, only then, can you determine which punishment fits the crime. “If the person truly has not had a long history, I think an apology, maybe having some suspension of some sort, depending on the gravity of it and what type of comments were made. You really have to delve into and discuss what this person needs. No one is too high or too large to receive some sort of intervention and training and education on this subject, but you can’t blow up someone’s career if it’s a one-off sexist remark,” said Miller.