The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1998 decisions in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Ellerth v. Burlington Industries imposed a three-part obligation on employers to take affirmative steps to prevent, detect and remedy unlawful workplace harassment.
One of the most important means of fulfilling this obligation is through effective investigation of harassment complaints. While it’s not possible to identify all issues that may need to be addressed in any given investigation, the following checklist should nevertheless provide useful guidance to employers conducting such investigations.
Preparing for the investigation
Select an appropriate investigator. Ensure that the investigator has time to devote to the investigation. Consider potential conflicts of interest (actual or perceived) and the possible need to use an outside investigator.
Secure and review potential evidence. Although this list isn’t exhaustive, evi...(register to read more)