HR Investigations

Allegations of Harassment Against Me?

There are allegations of harassment against me.  Now what?

Workplace harassment investigations cause feelings of intimidation and stress. However, barring any criminal act, as the Respondent, the investigation itself is an opportunity for you to share your reality with the investigators so that they can conduct a fair and thorough investigation.  

The first step when you find out there are allegations against you is to request and review your organization’s respectful workplace or harassment policy in order to familiarize yourself with the investigation process.

According to the rules of natural justice, you will be provided an opportunity to respond to the allegations against you via an investigation interview (either virtually or in person).

The allegations should be shared with you in advance of the interview so that you can prepare appropriately. Appropriate notice is on a case-by-case basis and is based on the number of allegations; but it should be a reasonable amount of time in each circumstance. It is ok to ask for additional information if you don’t know what the specific allegations are, and it’s ok to ask for more time to prepare if needed.  

Preparing for Your Interview

Prior to your investigation interview, you should consider the following:

  1. Dates, times, and locations where the alleged incident(s) occurred.
  2. Witnesses who may have information regarding the alleged incident(s).  The specific incidents and contact information for each witness is helpful for the investigators.
  3. Documentation such as emails, texts, photos, videos, etc. that may be helpful for the investigators in conducting their investigation.

The Interview

During your interview, you are usually welcome to have a support person attend.  Your support person won’t be able to participate in the actual interview itself; their role will be to provide support and comfort to you and to act as a witness to the investigation process.

After the Interview

In order to determine whether or not harassment occurred, the investigators will consider the Complainant’s information, your information (as the Respondent), as well as any supporting evidence presented from documentation, witnesses, etc.

Your company or organization’s policy will determine how the results of the investigation are distributed.

Remember- your participation in the process is your opportunity to share your information – and to share your truth.  If you choose not to participate, the investigation will still proceed without your side of the story or any evidence you may present. 

Someone is Harassing Me – What Do I Do?

Kn/a HR’s Dawn Hillrud offers Steps For an Employee to Take if They Feel They Have been Harassed.

More Help

For more information on workplace harassment, check out the Government of Canada’s Tool to Guide Employees  

About the Author

Nicole Spagrud is a trained and certified HR Investigator with Kn/a HR Consulting. You can read more about Nicole here, or you can reach Nicole by email at:

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