Investigating Sexual Harassment Charges - Questions to Ask the Alleged Victim
Tell the alleged victim that confidentiality will be maintained as much as possible, and that a true, accurate, and complete account of the incident(s) is needed.
- Who? What? When? Where? Get details. Pin down times, places, and events as precisely as possible.
- How did the conduct affect you?
- How did you react? What was your response? Did you let the person know his/her behavior was unwelcome? (This could be verbal or the way the alleged victim reacted.)
- How frequent was the conduct? Is it sill ongoing?
- Were there witnesses? Did you tell anybody about it? Did anyone see you visibly upset after episodes of alleged harassment? If so, who?
- Has this happened to others? Are there current or former employees who you believe were harassed by the same person?
- Is there any documentation regarding the incident(s)?
- Do you know of any other relevant information?
- How would you like to see the situation resolved? [Although you cannot commit at this point to a particular solution, find out what relief the complainant wants.] DO NOT TELL THE ALLEGED VICTIM TO "JUST LET IT GO THIS TIME" IN THE HOPE THAT THE BEHAVIOR WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN.
Repeat what you've been told to ensure you understand the situation.
Set a date/time and place to meet again after gathering the facts concerning the allegations.
Document! Document! Document!