It is an employer's responsibility to promptly investigate harassment claims within the workplace. The interviewer should refrain from asking about the parties' personal lives outside of work. Below are sample questions to ask the complainant, recommended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Questions to ask the complainant:
- Who committed the alleged harassment? What exactly occurred or was said? When, where, and how often did it occur and is it still ongoing?
- How did you react? What response did you make when the incident(s) occurred or afterwards?
- How did the harassment affect you? Has your job been affected in any way?
- Are there any persons who have relevant information? Was anyone present when the alleged harassment occurred? Did you tell anyone about it? Did anyone see you immediately after?
- Did the person who harassed you harass anyone else, to your knowledge?
- Are there any notes, physical evidence, or other documentation regarding the incident(s)?
- Do you know of any other relevant information?
In next week's HR Tip, we will provide questions to ask the person who has been accused of harassment. As always, contact Nextep's HR Department immediately if any allegations of harassment arise at your workplace.