Federal Law > Handbooks - Policies > Sex Harassment -- How to conduct an investigation

Sex Harassment -- How to conduct an investigation

 
1. Take every complaint seriously.
2. Behave compassionately yet professionally.
3. Don't pass judgment.
4. Obtain the following information:
a. Name and position of the person who allegedly harassed the employee
b. Obtain as many details as possible about the incident(s), including times, dates, locations, witnesses.
c. Determine how the employee felt about the harassment at the time, and how the employee feels now.
d. Determine how the employee responded to the harassment.
e. Determine whether the employee told anyone else about the incident(s).
f. Determine whether the alleged harasser had control over any working condition of the complainant.
g. Determine whether the employee knows of or suspects that there are other victims of the alleged harassment.
h. Determine what actions the employee would like to have taken.
5. Assure the employee that you do not want any recurrences or retaliation against the employee and that you will be speaking with the alleged offender to make sure that this does not happen again.
6. Tell the complainant that if there is a recurrence or if someone tries to retaliate, the complainant should notify you immediately. The investigation should be done with as much confidentiality as possible, but you should not guarantee confidentiality during the investigation.
7. Determine if employee can continue to work with the alleged harasser and find out if the employee needs counseling.
8. Interview the alleged harasser and obtain a statement from that person.
9. Determine the history between the alleged harasser and the employee, including any social relationships. Make it clear that the alleged harasser should not retaliate against the employee in any way.
10. Interview and obtain statements from any witnesses who may have any information concerning the allegations.
11. If this sexual harassment is confirmed, then prompt and appropriate disciplinary action must be taken against the harasser to insure no further problems and to prevent the harassed employee from feeling intimidated.
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