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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: How to Protect the Employer New Class

 

Once an employer has been made aware that allegations of sexual harassment exist, what steps can be taken.  What is the best way to protect the integrity of the employer while mitigating damages and liability?

Course Outline/Topics

  1. Overview
  2. Agencies and Types of Claims
    1. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
    2. Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development –Equal Rights Division (ERD)
    3. City of Madison EOC
  3. Pre-Investigation
    1. Timing
      1. Formal Complaint Not Required
      2. Be Proactive
      3. Consequences of Delay
    2. Evaluation
      1. Protected Class
      2. Adverse Action
    3. Review Policies and Procedures
      1. Documented
      2. Work Practices
    4. Review of Training
      1. Training Documentation
      2. Attendance Records
    5. Establish Secure Investigation File
    6. Consider Interim Personnel Actions
    7. Review Facts and Prepare Chronology
  4. Investigation
    1. Procedure to Follow
    2. Purpose of Investigation
      1. Determine What Actually Occurred
      2. Punish Wrongdoer
      3. Prevent Reoccurrence
      4. Legal Implications
        1. Duty to Prevent & Correct
        2. Groundwork for Affirmative Defenses
        3. Reduce Potential Liability & Damages
    3. Investigator Selection
      1. Credibility
      2. Impartiality
      3. Creates Trust & Rapport
      4. Member of Management
      5. Good Witness in Event of Litigation
    4. What Information is Needed
    5. Best Sources of Information
    6. Identification of Witnesses
      1. Friendly Witnesses
      2. Negative Witnesses
      3. Adversarial Witnesses
    7. Interviewing the Complainant
      1. Explain Allegations
      2. Discuss Need for Thorough Investigation
      3. Restate Company Policy
      4. Discuss Retaliation and Require Immediate Notification of Same
      5. Ask for Details
        1. Type of Conduct
        2. Frequency of Conduct
        3. What was Said or Done
        4. Where Conduct Occurred
        5. Date(s) of Conduct
        6. Pattern of Previous Conduct
        7. Pattern of Conduct with Others
        8. Effect of Conduct
          1. Psychological
          2. Physical
          3. Economic
          4. Other
        9. Corroborating Witness or Documents
        10. Prior Relationship
        11. Personal History of Complaints or Allegations
        12. Witnessed Other Acts of Discrimination
      6. Ask for Notes
      7. Clarify Statements
      8. Pin Down Facts and Timeline
      9. Expectation of Outcome
    8. Interviewing the Accused
      1. Explain Allegations
      2. Allow Opportunity to Respond
      3. Clarify Admissions, Denials and Contradictions
      4. Warn Against Retaliation
      5. Refusal to Cooperate Does Not Stop Investigation
    9. Witness Interviews
      1. Explain Purpose of Interview
      2. Do Not Promise Confidentiality
      3. Do Explain Retaliation Prohibition
      4. Establish Expectation to Avoid Discussion/Gossip with Others
      5. One Witness at a Time
      6. Avoid Leading Questions
      7. Ask for Details
        1. Who
        2. What
        3. When
        4. Where
        5. Why
        6. How
        7. Corroborating Witness or Documents
        8. Prior Relationship with Part(ies) Involved
        9. Personal History of Complaints or Allegations
        10. Witnessed Other Acts of Discrimination
      8. Ask for Notes
      9. Clarify Statements
      10. Pin Down Facts and Timeline
      11. Avoid Embarrassing/Unfriendly Questions Until the End
      12. Witness Requests Legal Representation
    10. Witness Credibility
      1. Bias or Motive to Lie
      2. First Hand Knowledge
      3. Third-Party Information/Gossip
      4. Consistency with Other Statements & Reports
      5. Trust Your Instincts
    11. Witness Statements
      1. Prepared by Witness
      2. Signed and Dated
      3. If Won’t Provide
    12. Investigation Notes
      1. Date Documents & Notes
      2. Take Good Notes During Interviews
      3. Use Separate Pieces of Paper, Not a Notebook
      4. Record Observations on Separate Document
        1. Evasiveness
        2. Non-Verbal Cues
        3. Contradictions
      5. Do Not Include In Notes:
        1. Interpretations
        2. Opinions
        3. Beliefs
        4. Assumptions
        5. Conclusions
      6. Never Destroy Documents After Investigation Starts
    13. Investigation Report
      1. Prepare Promptly
      2. Recite Allegations Investigated
      3. Chronology of Steps Taken
      4. Identify Witnesses Interviewed
        1. Include Refusals
        2. State Reasons for Not Interviewing Potential Witnesses
      5. Identify Documents Reviewed
      6. Note Discrepancies / Conflicting Evidence
      7. Written Report
        1. Conclusions Based on Evidence
        2. No Recommendations
  5. Post-Investigation
    1. Decision on Outcome of Investigation
    2. ProvedAllegations
      1. Determine Severity of Conduct
      2. Determine Course of Action
        1. Review Policies and Procedures
        2. Uniform Responses / Past Practices
    3. Refuted Allegations
      1. Inform Parties
      2. Document Meeting
      3. Review Policy/Rule
      4. Prohibit Retaliation
      5. Determine if False Complaint Knowingly Filed
    4. Inconclusive Investigation
      1. Both Parties Credible
      2. Consider Investigation by Outside Party
      3. Review Policy/Rule with Parties
      4. Prohibit Retaliation
  6. Retaliation
    1. Definition
    2. Who Protected
      1. Accuser
      2. Witness
    3. Violators
      1. Managers
      2. Co-Workers
      3. Accused
    4. Adverse Employment Actions
      1. Hiring
      2. Firing
      3. Pay
      4. Job Assignments
      5. Promotions
      6. Layoff
      7. Training
      8. Fringe Benefits
      9. Any Other Term or Condition of Employment
  7. In the Event a Complaint/Charge filed
    1. Timeliness of Filing
    2. Investigation by Agency
      1. Position Statement
      2. Requests for Information
      3. Witness Interviews
    3. Findings
    4. Appeals

Close ▲

 

This program can be applied toward the:

  Sessions  
Thu., Mar. 19, 2015
8:30am-4:00pm
Location: UWM School of Continuing Education (Click link for directions)
Instructor: Denise Greathouse, Michael Best & Friedrich
$345: Register by Thu., Mar. 5, 2015
$395: Register on or after Fri., Mar. 6, 2015 Discount Available
CEUs: 0.7
Program No. 5040-7720
Register Now
 
Thu., Sept., 24, 2015
8:30am-4:00pm
Location: UWM School of Continuing Education (Click link for directions)
Instructor: Denise Greathouse, Michael Best & Friedrich
$345: Register by Thu., Sept. 10, 2015
$395: Register on or after Fri., Sept. 11, 2015 Discount Available
CEUs: 0.7
Program No. 5040-7721
Register Now
 
For more information, contact:
Mary Piwaron, Associate Outreach Specialist, mgv@uwm.edu, 227-3216
 

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