How should an employer interview an employee or supervisor accused of harassment?
Author: William Denham
An employer should interview an employee accused of harassment in a non-threatening but direct way, and only do so after interviewing the complaining employee. The employer should, among other things:
- Explain that there has been a report of harassment by an individual and that the employer is conducting an investigation;
- Provide a summary of the alleged harassment including the date, time and place of the offending acts and existence of witnesses to any alleged incidents; and
- Ask that the accused individual provide his or her side of the story.
The employer should also inform the accused employee if it will take any interim measures (suspension, for example) pending the outcome of the investigation. The employer should also let the accused know that the investigation will conclude as promptly as possible and that he or she will be notified of the results of the investigation, the employer's conclusions and any necessary discipline.