Questions your employment lawyer will ask the employer’s investigator at deposition

If your employer (or now former employer) investigated your complaints of harassment or discrimination, then your employment lawyer will thoroughly depose the investigator about how he conducted the investigation. The deposition will begin with your lawyer questioning the investigator about his background, training, and experience to determine whether he was the appropriate person for the defendant-employer to designate as the investigator:

Background: Human Resources Training

  • Have you attended any classes or seminars or received any type of specialized training that is related to human resources?
    • Course titles and dates.
    • Where were the classes conducted?
    • By whom were the classes conducted?
    • Did you pass each class?
    • Did you receive a grade?
    • Do you have any documents (handouts, pamphlets, etc.) relating to these classes?
  • Are you a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)? Ever been a member?
  • Are you a member of Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA)? Ever been a member?
  • Are you a member of any human resources organization or association? Ever been a member?

Background: Education re Discrimination and Harassment

  • Have your ever attended any courses or seminars about illegal discrimination in the employment context?
  • Please describe your understanding of what constitutes illegal discrimination?
  • Have your ever attended any courses or seminars about illegal harassment in the employment context?
  • Please describe your understanding of what constitutes illegal harassment?
  • Have your ever attended any courses or seminars about illegal retaliation in the employment context?
  • Please describe your understanding of what constitutes illegal retaliation?
  • Did [the defendant-employer] ever provide you with any training regarding illegal discrimination in the employment context?
  • Did [the defendant-employer] ever provide you with any training regarding illegal harassment in the employment context?
  • Did [the defendant-employer] ever provide you with any training regarding illegal retaliation in the employment context?

Overview of Investigator’s View of Conduct in Case

[In this portion of the deposition, your employment lawyer will tailor the deposition questions to the particular conduct at issue in the case. For example:]

  • Would it be age discrimination or harassment for a supervisor to make jokes about a subordinate having gray hair?
  • Would it be age discrimination or harassment for a supervisor to make jokes about a subordinate having wrinkles?
  • Would it be gender discrimination or harassment for a supervisor to make jokes about a female subordinate having a big butt?
  • Based on your understanding of the law, what must a company do if an employee complains about conduct by a supervisor that might be age or gender harassment?
  • Based on your understanding of the law, what must a company do if an employee complains about a supervisor making jokes about a subordinate having gray hair?
  • Based on your understanding of the law, what must a company do if an employee complains about a supervisor making jokes about a subordinate having wrinkles?
  • Based on your understanding of the law, what must a company do if an employee complains about a supervisor making jokes about a subordinate having a big butt?
  • Based on your understanding of the law, does an employee have to make a “formal” complaint in order for the company to have to do something?
  • Based on your understanding of the law, if an employee places the company on notice about potential age and gender discrimination and harassment but refuses to make a “formal” complaint, is the company still required to do something?

Background: Education and Training re Investigation

  • Have you ever attended any courses or seminars on how to conduct a sexual harassment investigation?
  • If “yes”:
    • How many?
    • Who conducted the course/seminar?
    • When?
    • Where?
    • Given any materials?
  • Have you ever attended any courses or seminars on how to conduct an age harassment investigation?
  • Have you ever attended any courses or seminars on how to conduct a gender discrimination investigation?
  • Have you ever attended any courses or seminars on how to conduct an age discrimination investigation?
  • Have you ever attended any courses or seminars on how to conduct any type of investigation?
  • Have you ever received any type of training on how to conduct a sexual harassment investigation?
  • Have you ever received any type of training on how to conduct an age harassment investigation?
  • Have you ever received any type of training on how to conduct a gender discrimination investigation?
  • Have you ever received any type of training on how to conduct an age discrimination investigation?
  • Have you ever received any type of training on how to conduct any type of investigation?
  • Have you ever read any books or publications on how to conduct a sexual harassment investigation?
  • Have you ever read any books or publications on how to conduct an age harassment investigation?
  • Have you ever read any books or publications on how to conduct a gender discrimination investigation?
  • Have you ever read any books or publications on how to conduct an age discrimination investigation?
  • Have you ever read any books or publications on how to conduct any type of investigation?

Background: Experience re Investigation

  • Have you ever personally conducted a sexual harassment investigation?
  • Have you ever personally conducted an age harassment investigation?
  • Have you ever personally conducted a gender discrimination investigation?
  • Have you ever personally conducted an age discrimination investigation?
  • Have you ever personally conducted any type of investigation?
  • Have you ever assisted anyone in conducting a sexual harassment investigation?
  • Have you ever assisted anyone in conducting an age harassment investigation?
  • Have you ever assisted anyone in conducting a gender discrimination investigation?
  • Have you ever assisted anyone in conducting an age discrimination investigation?
  • Have you ever assisted anyone in conducting any type of investigation?