Jenner & Block

Key Considerations in Investigating Workplace Sexual Misconduct Complaints

From the advent of the #MeToo movement, corporate leadership across industries have confronted the question of what to do to assess their own company’s risk of a potential workplace sexual misconduct claim.  Victims coming forward have called out a broad range of inappropriate behaviors, ranging from the clearly criminal to the otherwise illegal to the unfortunate, perhaps a violation of corporate policy but probably not sufficient to establish a claim for legal liability.  Employers may not know at the inception of a complaint where on the spectrum a given complaint will ultimately fall.  Regardless, in many cases, an investigation – of appropriate size, character, methods, and objectives – will aid management in understanding the facts underlying the complaint, making employment determinations related to the alleged perpetrator, and considering broader cultural and compliance issues in the company.