Bruce’s Summary: We’ve been dealing with sexual harassment literally forever and since the 1960’s legislation has continued to grow saying it’s illegal and will continue to get more costly for employers. However, even today, we somehow still don’t get it. A superficial investigation doesn’t work anymore. The author gives a good overview of what not to do but more than that, a great process for HR Professions to tactfully follow when the pressure is on from a senior level position to do something like, “just go through the motions and close it”.
For most situations like this one, where a termination and allegations of sexual harassment are involved more than likely outside/inside legal counsel should already be aware/involved in discussion of the allegations and giving guidance/direction of next steps. This ensures a solid partnership between Legal and HR in protecting the organization and all parties involved. This has worked for me in the past and helped keep everyone’s emotions in check and allowed for a neutral investigative process to be completed. If legal counsel (outside/inside) is brought in later in the investigative process, HR should build a case for bringing legal counsel in earlier to ensure all viable steps are in place before their investigation begins especially, if there is a senior level position involved. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com