How to answer common questions during investigations.

Date01 February 2022

When you're conducting an HR investigation into harassment or other potential misconduct, you never want to give legal ammunition to the employee if he or she ever decides to sue. That's why it's important to know how to respond to employees' common inquiries.

Here are some of the most difficult questions investigators face, along with responses that protect you legally:

Can I record this?

Answer: No, you can't. (You don't need to give a reason.)

Why are you taking notes?

Answer: We are taking notes to document this meeting. It's a fact-gathering process and we want our investigation to be as thorough as possible.

Can I have a copy of the notes?

Answer: These notes are company records and property and, therefore, we can't share them with you.

How many times will we meet?

Answer: We will decide that on an as-needed basis as the investigation proceeds. We may have to meet again and expect your cooperation.

What if I don't want to answer that?

Answer to a suspected perpetrator: You have an allegation against you. You are required, as part of...

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