As I’ve written before, California has specific requirements for employers investigating complaints of harassment. Failure to follow these requirements can expose an employer to just as much liability as the harassment itself — especially if a plaintiff’s attorney can characterize the shortcomings as an intentional cover up.
My partner Frank Cook over at the New Jersey Human Resources blog recently posted bullet points of issues to cover in an investigation. It provides a useful overview and you can read it here.
Remember: Harassment litigation is less about what the alleged harasser did than about how the employer responds. The whopping plaintiffs’ verdicts come in cases where the response is delayed, incomplete, or appears biased.