We hear so many accusations of sexual harassment nowadays, that many of us have thought to ourselves at least once, “Okay, but what if some of the accusers are lying?” That’s what credibility assessment in an investigation of sexual harassment claims is for.
In my experience as a sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles, I can say with confidence that less than 5 percent of all sexual harassment claims that I have handled have been completely fabricated. Nonetheless, the importance of determining credibility when someone is accused of sexual harassment cannot be overstated.
After all, the accused’s career, reputation, and life are on the line. But how do investigators determine if the alleged victim is telling the truth or not? Today, our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney at JML Law is going to explain how it’s done.
Although private investigators, lawyers, and HR departments use the following strategy for guidance to assess credibility when investigating a sexual harassment claim, the same strategy is used by juries when the case goes to trial (though it rarely goes that far).
Before any questions challenging the alleged victim’s story are tossed around, the first step is always to believe the accuser. Many companies ignore sexual harassment claims simply because the employer or any other influential or powerful figure in the HR department thinks the accuser is being unworthy of being taken seriously.
However, each and every sexual harassment claim deserves attention and investigation. Needless to say, you cannot believe the accuser without conducting a thorough and fair investigation into the complaint. “How is this investigation of sexual harassment claims conducted?” you may be wondering.
Let our experienced sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles explain. In addition to interviewing the alleged victim and the defendant, a proper sexual harassment investigation is always comprised of reviewing and finding any documents, policies, and other evidence such as photos, videos, emails, text messages, recorded phone conversations, footage, Internet searches, postcards, greeting cards, and many more.
Apart from all that, the investigator must interview witnesses and determine whether or not each witness is believable. After all, situations, where witnesses helped the alleged victim fabricate a sexual harassment claim are not unheard of. When asking witnesses questions, these questions must go well beyond the alleged act of sexual harassment, and must also touch upon motivations, timing, relationships, and many more.
Our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney is going to explain how to determine whether or not the person who is being interviewed is telling the truth:
Now you know how credibility assessment in an investigation of sexual harassment claims is done. If you fear that you will not be believed, talk to our sexual harassment lawyers at JML Law. Schedule a free consultation by calling 818-610-8800 today.