Say you’re investigating a sexual harassment claim. You’re about to begin the first interview with the suspected perpetrator. The interviewee asks if it is OK to take notes. You fear that he may show the notes to co-workers or to an attorney, so you reject the request.
That’s not a good idea, says Jonathan Landesman, a-side employment law attorney for Cohen Seglias in Philadelphia.
“I wouldn’t want my client to say to a judge, jury or federal agency, ‘That’s right. I wouldn’t let the employee take notes even though the person wanted to.’ It comes across as heavy-handed and unfair,” says Landesman.
To conduct misconduct interviews that don’t provide legal ammunition to the employee, come prepared with answers to tough-but-valid questions that employees may ask during the investigation.
Here are some of the most difficult questions along with responses that can protect you legally:
1. Question: “Can I tape record t...(register to read more)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- 10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review
- Minor annoyances aren't retaliation, even after employee has lodged complaints
- Political shift could heighten your union risk
- Audit hiring patterns to spot hidden age bias
- Asked to enforce civility, court demurs