Misconduct – getting the whole story part 2
Misconduct – getting the whole story part 2. Following on from part 1 – In this case you have received a complaint of sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination or other misconduct from a person other than the victim – what should you do?
Thoroughly interview the person providing the information. Record as much detail as possible.
1. Who was the victim?
2. Who was the perpetrator – name, role/position?
3. What they saw
4. What they heard – exact words if possible
5. When it happened – in as much detail as possible, time, date, day etc
6. Was anyone else there – additional witnesses, who?
7. What they did – did they have any conversation with the victim, perpetrator or witnesses?
8. Explain the need for confidentiality
Review the information from the person reporting to see what other information you need to fill in the gaps and who else other than the alleged victim you may need to interview
At this time you can choose to speak to witnesses. Be careful not to give the witnesses too much information or lead evidence from them.
After establishing that they were or may have been present at the time ask open questions like “last Monday do you recall anything unusual happening in the hallway on the fourth floor at around 11am?”
Repeat 1- 8 above for all witnesses
Speak with the alleged victim, advise the victim that you have a duty of care to investigate the matter.
Interview the victim to obtain and record full details of the incident/s, see above 1 – 8
By now you should be in full possession of the facts from the position of the victim and witnesses.
Of course this is a time consuming and often difficult process. It is wise that prior to starting you decide, do we have the time, do we have the expertise and experience or would be rather have a professional come in and take the stress away?
Part 3 of this post will examine what you should do if the complaint is made the victim in writing or via email.
This is general information only; it does not replace advice from a qualified workplace investigator in your state or territory. It is recommended that should you encounter complaints in the workplace that you should seek advice from suitability qualified and experienced qualified workplace investigator.
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