The idea of having your sexual harassment claim investigated by some overly suspicious and potentially biased person may seem a little disheartening and intimidating, as most workers in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California have no clue about how harassment claims are investigated by their employer’s Human Resources department.
You never know how the investigation will unfold, as there is always a chance that your story will not be believed, you will be ridiculed for describing what happened, and the HR department will cover up for the predator, harasser, abuser, or groper to save the company’s face.
Our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney from The Rager Law Firm is going to explain how employers in California are required to investigate sexual harassment claims.
The first step is selecting the investigator, who can be either someone from the company’s in-house Human Resources or a private investigator hired from an independent firm. More often than not, employers take the first route.
Each investigator assigned to review a sexual harassment claim must be properly trained to do his or her job. In addition to that, this person should have experience in investigating similar claims and not be biased (which can never be ruled out given that this investigator is employed by the company run by the alleged perpetrator or company that hired the alleged perpetrator).
“Keep in mind that when investigating sexual harassment claims filed with the HR department, investigators that work for the company will attempt to limit the liability of the company,” warns our experienced sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the investigator’s experience and training can always be examined or even challenged by your attorney if the case goes to trial.
The second rule of investigating sexual harassment claims is ensuring that the investigator is not biased and both the accuser and accused are treated equally regardless of their position of the company.
More often than not, in-house investigators may be under the influence or supervisory control from the accused party, especially if that party is the employer or anyone else with high authority in the company.
No investigation into sexual harassment claims can be considered “conclusive” if it does not include interviewing the harassed party (claimant) and the alleged harasser.
Sexual harassment claims investigators in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California are trained to ask the right questions, and many victims may not be prepared for all of them. Our best sexual harassment attorneys in California have outlined some of the most common questions asked during a sexual harassment investigation (to find out more, contact The Rager Law Firm for a free consultation):
Additionally, the investigator will interview the alleged harasser and any potential witnesses or anyone who has any relevant information about the case.
The final two steps in every sexual harassment investigation are to (1) make credibility assessments to determine such factors as inherent plausibility, demeanor, the motive to falsify, corroboration, and past record, and (2) draw conclusions from everything that has been written, said, and discovered during the investigation.
In order to ensure that the investigation is not biased and is fair, it is highly advised to be represented by a Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney from The Rager Law Firm. Call our offices at 310-527-6994 or complete this contact form for a free case evaluation.
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