After all interviews have taken place and information has been thoroughly analyzed, it's time to prepare the results of the investigation. The investigator will need to develop a written report of the findings. Outlining the necessary steps in the resulting of the investigation is helpful to ensure that company protocols are followed and the parties involved have been properly informed of the outcome.
Meetings with the accused and the complainant should be scheduled separately. Formal written reports should be printed and ready for each before their meeting. Disclose the results to the complainant (it is not necessary to tell the complainant what the disciplinary action against the accused was, however, it should be mentioned that it is consistent with your company’s policies and appropriate to the situation). Disclose the results to the accused and have any referenced policies printed and available to provide if necessary. It is not required that the results are provided to the witnesses.
Harassment / Discrimination Has Occurred
If it is determined that harassment / discrimination has occurred, disciplinary action must be taken against the accused. Refer to your company's policies for the appropriate method of action. Examples may include: warnings, suspension without pay, probation, transfer, demotion, or firing. If the accused was not discharged from his / her position, warn the accused that any future offense can result in immediate dismissal.
Harassment / Discrimination Has Not Occurred
If it is determined that harassment / discrimination has not occurred, it is not appropriate to discipline the complainant unless it was clearly a fraudulent, malicious complaint. If it is determined that inappropriate behavior has occurred but it does not constitute harassment / discrimination, counseling, training, and /or discipline may be the appropriate approach.
According to the Department of Workforce Development, it's important to avoid liability for defamation. This can occur if an investigator or interviewer broadcasts the facts of a given event or the results of an investigation to others or as part of a training exercise.