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  6. Section 9: Preparing the harassment complainant’s signed statement
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  6. Section 9: Preparing the harassment complainant’s signed statement
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  3. Local Union Presidents and VP's
  4. Human Rights Issues
  5. Workplace Harassment Pocket Guide
  6. Section 9: Preparing the harassment complainant’s signed statement

STEP 1: WORK WITH THE COMPLAINANT TO PREPARE A STATEMENT.

Near the end of the interview, work with the complainant to prepare a statement. Help them write a clear, accurate and detailed summary of the allegations. Be aware of language and literacy levels. You may need to write up the complaint and have the person sign it, and you should also arrange for translation where necessary (both for the interview and the written statement).

STEP 2: IDENTIFY WHO MAY SEE THE STATEMENT.

Advise the complainant that depending on the circumstances, their statement could be made known* or shown to:

  • other union leadership
  • members of senior management
  • legal counsel
  • any human rights officials who may become involved
  • the alleged harasser

* We would make known the general nature of the complaint to the alleged harasser at the outset of the. investigation. If the complaint were not resolved at an early stage, and if the process went to arbitration, the actual statement might then be shown to the alleged harasser as part of respecting the rights of the accused.

WHAT IF THE COMPLAINANT WON’T WRITE OR SIGN THE STATEMENT?

Writing a statement can be nerve-wracking for some people. Give the complainant the option to use another room to write the statement, and give them as much time as they need. They may even need to take the statement home to think it through more carefully. In this case, follow up with them the next day and keep the investigation moving along.

STEP 3: SIGNING THE STATEMENT.

Once the statement is written, ask the complainant to review it carefully and make any needed changes. If you both agree that it accurately represents what they’ve told you, ask them to sign it. Make one copy for them, one for you, and put the original signed statement in the case file.

If the complainant won’t write or sign the statement, ask them why. If they are afraid of retaliation, talk this through with them. If they still won’t write or sign a statement, you will have to write one based on the notes you took during the interview (see General Guidelines for Record-keeping). Put a note on the statement explaining their reasons for not signing it. Write that it best represents the event(s) described to you, and sign your own name.

If the complainant wants to add or change any part of their statement later, that’s fine. Ask them to write out the changes or additions, and staple it to their statement.

Do not permit anyone to make any changes on the actual statement itself.

STEP 4: END THE INTERVIEW.

Thank the complainant for coming to speak with you.

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