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EMPLOYMENT LAW GUIDE: - page 63 / 134

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  • Interview only those employees who are necessary, and do not draw the entire

workplace into the investigation. Ask for names of additional witnesses. Ask witnesses for

information on how the alleged victim and harasser act in the workplace, especially when

together. Note during the interview whether the witness appears credible.

  • Prepare and ask witnesses, including alleged victim and harasser, to sign a

written statement. If a witness refuses to sign, note that on the written statement.

  • Review alleged victim’s and harasser’s personnel files for evidence of

previous allegations which may corroborate those under investigation.

  • Inform all witnesses, including the alleged harasser, of the general purpose for

the investigation. Explain the company policy on sexual harassment, hostile workplace and

retaliation. Inform all witnesses, including the alleged victim and harasser, that the employer

takes the allegations very seriously. Explain that the employer will attempt to keep the

investigation confidential, but do not promise complete confidentiality, and request all

witnesses, including the alleged victim and harasser, to refrain from discussing the matter

with each other or co-workers or third parties so that the integrity of the investigation is not

compromised. Be careful not to appear overly heavy handed in making this request.

  • Inform the alleged victim that he or she should immediately contact the

Human Resources Department and/or a manager if contacted by the alleged harasser. Find

out if the alleged victim discussed the incident with anyone else (contemporaneously or

spontaneously). Ask the alleged victim and harasser if they have any documents to support

their version of the events.

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