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140 What do I do if the investigation is a he said_she said during a workplace investigation

What Do I Do If the Investigation Is a He Said, She Said During a Workplace Investigation?

#WorkplaceInvestigations #TitleVII #LynchLaw #TexasHR #HR #Legal #AustinTexas #AWI Sept. 1, 2023

Natalie Lynch is your credentialed investigator and licensed attorney, not a vlogger.

What do you do when there are no witnesses or when there's he said, she said? That's hard. Parts of that you may or may not be able to determine. It's just the nature of there not being any evidence. And so it often comes down to both credibility and consistent behaviors in the workplace. 

If the incidence is, “He pushed the table over on me,” maybe we can find out if the table was ever knocked over or maybe we can't. But we can say things like, "Well, that table falls over a lot." And so it is likely that the table was knocked over, but we still weren't able to prove whether or not he or she tipped it over. 

But the other thing that we can do in those instances is say, "What's the root cause of this concern?" If it's an underlying sort of harassment or bullying or physical violence-type claim and this one thing is evidence of it, we can look at some of the facts surrounding that. 

So somebody who is a bully or causing physical violence in the workplace, we can ask, "What other acts of physical violence have there been and have you seen these other acts of physical violence? Have you heard other people talking about experiencing these acts of physical violence? Has this person been a bully to you? Have you heard other people talking about this person being a bully? Does this person talk in a way that a bully talks?" We can do things like that.

So when it really is a true he said, she said and there simply just are no other witnesses, we have to look at how likely it is that the person engaged in a behavior like that because of other things they've done. That is not ever going to be good enough for a criminal court, but that is not what we are called upon to do as workplace investigators. 

And since we are looking at more likely than not, we have to see if it is more likely than not that a behavior may have occurred in a way that is a he said, she said. But ultimately, those he said, she saids with no witnesses are some of the hardest cases we get.