Investigaciones sobre acoso sexual: el rol del profesional de seguridad

When you look at the

issue of sexual harassment, how many of you in this room, routinely are theperson to conduct the sexual harassment investigation. Meaning you speak to thecomplainant, the accused, witnesses. You conduct the entire investigation yourselfor it is directly supervised by you let me see a show of hands-roughly

thirty to fortypercent. Those of you who just now raised your hand how many of you also have chargeresponsibilities for Human Resources-three or four hands. Within theorganizations where you do not- those of you who have raised your hand cannotanswer this question, but for the rest of you, you can, who conducts thatinvestigation in your organization? Human resources typically does.

 

Why do you believeand no disparaging concern about Human Resources

conducts this typeof investigation. (Answers from audience: “sensitivity, confidentiality”) You thinkit is also they don’t trust us as security professionals. They may see us tosome extent the proverbial John Wayne, ex cop, insensitive type person that weare not and perceive us for this type of investigation that maybe we shouldstay outside that circle. And so this afternoon’s session is gearedspecifically to get you inside the inner circle so that you not only will becalled to conduct these sensitive investigations of harassment, sexualharassment, or discrimination but more importantly once you receive that callyou’ll have some immediate resources of memory from the hand out material givento you in this presentation and to know what should the security

pro do to do aneffective, competent, and thorough investigation that diffuses potential legalretaliation.

 

You see often times,sexual harassment cases end up in front of judges and juries

because of theinvestigation or lack of investigation. You will here some actual cases that Ihave been involved in over the years to help heighten your awareness of thisand I am going to assume with one very brief section of comments that each ofyou understand the legal complexities of sexual harassment issues and some ofthe legalese that goes along with conducting those investigations. I’m going tohopefully raise the standard here for you a little bit so that we are nowdealing with the practical exercise of conducting this type of this investigation.So here is what you are going to take away in the next roughly seventy-twominutes.

 

First, you are goingto learn how to identify the key behaviors, not profiles, not personalities butthe key behaviors of the sexual harasser. What does this person act like? Maleor Female. Identifying the key behaviors of those that are making falsecomplaints. Because even though percentage wise from my own experience I wouldsuggest that sometimes complainants might heighten the level of the sensitivityin most cases they are telling the truth. But you need to know how to identify someonewho is pontificating falsifying or heightening the situation beyond thepractical reality if what the complaint should be. Three, you will learn how toformulate and utilize a successful investigative assessment team. So that youare not acting alone but you will act in concert with

other people youbring into this team so that you will become the trusted advisor. You will be thengo to security pro to handle this type of issues. You’ll learn how to diffusethe potential for retaliatory and very expensive protracted litigation. Inother words how do you solve this problem here and now so that no one filessuit against you or your employer. Next, you will learn how to conduct remedialaction, which is required by law in the United States that every employer musthave some type of remedial action plan to deal with this issue of harassment. Youwill learn how to get to the truth that when it comes now time to confront theaccused, the accuser because one of them is not telling the truth or both ofthem are not telling the truth. How can you do that professionally and get aconfession. That may be the most important thing you learn and hear about thisafternoon. And then from a proactive standpoint, how do you prevent sexualharassment from a security manager’s perspective. What can you take back toyour organization that has blessed you to be here this week that you can goback and say, security can be on the cutting edge of preventing this type ofharassment. And then how do you finish the

race well so you canbe a security leader in your organization. You’ll know you are on the race andyou’ll know you have finished it and finished it well.

 

First, you need todo your homework if you are somewhat unfamiliar as a security professional oras a manger on issues of sexual harassment you need to understand the verybasics before we get into the more advanced. And this is that short briefintroduction so that you can understand the basic elements of sexual harassment,specifically, as such. There are types of harassment as identified by the EEOand the federal guidelines given to us. There is quid quo pro which easy torecognize. If I came up to Dennis and I said Dennis if you don’t have sex withme tonight you are going to lose your job. He knows that , that is quid quopro. Tit for tat in other words if he doesn’t do something of a

sexual nature he isgoing to have enhancement or loss of some position or status within your organization.A hostile environment is much mire difficult to define because what might be harassmentto you to her may not be harassment to her. In other words if I told you a jokethat.was very insensitive and very inappropriate you may not even think that itis harassment. But this gentleman who happens to hear this off colored joke isgreatly offended and thus I have created a hostile environment for him. And soinvestigating percentage wise you will find that roughly ninety-five percent ofyour actual investigations are going to deal with hostile environmentallegations versus quid quo pro. Those are typically the much more seriouscases.

 

A few years ago acase culminated at this very convention center. A gentleman from another city walkedinto a public area in his company and he is what is referred to as the cash cowin the company. In other words he is the moneymaker. He rings the cashregister. He brings in millions of dollars to this company. He has been withthem the since Moses was floating down the river Nile. He knows where all thebodies are hidden. He knows all the company secrets. He has been to everycompany party. He knows the intimate details of the lives of the president andthe executive vice president and the other senior vice presidents throughout thecompany. He knows the dirty linen. He walks into this area and he
tells asubordinate supervisor, a manager in the office that she must travel with himto Orlando to visit the convention center where their company was intending tohave a major function. She becomes extremely emotional, as six people willlater say. Refusing to travel to Orlando. And he tells her in the presence ofthese six people that if you don’t go, go home because you are fired. She begrudgingly,tearfully exits the door, and here is where the story picks up. She runs intothe convention center, through the very front doors that you came throughearlier today, screaming at the top of her lungs for police HELP! She isscreaming so loudly that people are running to her attention, not knowing whatthe panic was about. She collapses in the arms of a uniformed security officerand proceeds to tell him that the man coming through the door had just sexually

assaulted her ortried to. You can go down I suspect and find the spot if you have goodeyesight.and you might even find the mascara droppings on the carpet where thiswoman was petrified and crying out for help. The vice president walks in, justas calm as can be, pretends, he says that he has no clue why she is upset. Andhe pulls a security and a police officer, who arrives shortly thereafter, thatshe is having a lot of emotional problems at home. She claims to the policethat he had masturbated while driving some one hundred miles an hour down theroad between their originating point and Orlando. And tried to force her into asex act of which she refused and was threatening to jump out of the moving car.And when they finally arrived in the parking lot she jumped from the vehicleskinned her knees getting out of the vehicle and ran inside. Who are you goingto call? Well, in this case this company called their Human Resource Department.But the call actually went like this. Mary, I’m kind of embarrassed here. Ineed some help. I’m over here in Orlando. Yeah. I’m on the Orange county Jail.And I need someone to bail me out. And she said, excuse me. I’ve been arrested.Betty has said some pretty atrocious lies about me and I need some help I’m injail. They bail him out. At this point he denies throughout the entire processof the interviews and he is absolutely clueless, he says, at

to what has eventranspired in her going through this process. But, yet, he adds he knows a lotof dirt about Betty, that would cast question upon her integrity. Well, theyinterview the complainant, They interview the accused and like most employerswho could have had a V8 they sit there with these facts and they go, we don’tknow who to believe. On the less side of the balance sheet, we have a trustedVP who has been with us over thirty years. And a manager who has been with ussix years. Who you going to believe? At this point, the company said I think wemight ought to look into this situation. Because you know if we don’t resolvethis because this is such a serious situation and the sensitive nature of italone has just tremendous fallout.

 

That what is goingto happen if we don’t resolve this people are going to live in fear. What if heis telling the truth? And we don’t absolutely know he is telling the truth thenwe are going to live in fear of litigation. Especially, if he does somethinglike this, that he has been accused of again. If we don’t deal with this otherthan living in fear, we are absolutely assuredly, our attorneys have told us weare going to be sued out the whazoo. And we are going to be writing them largechecks. And spend a lot of time and resources defending this litigation. Our employeesare going to have a loss of trust in us because they are looking at us to solvethis intimate problem. So, they decided to conduct a more detailed investigationthen just interviewing just the complainant and the accused. Now here if youare the type of person who likes to write things down, this would be the firstthing I suggest you write down. Most investigations fail because only thecomplainant and the accused are interviewed. In the typical sexual harassmentinvestigation where I testify as an expert witness in some capacity in thatcase the mistake can be traced directly to the ineffectual interview of justthe complainant and the accused. Now here is why companies, typically, willlimit there interviews to those two individuals. It is as sensitive matter.Extremely confidential. We don’t want this rumor mill to run amok. You knowwhat if we can resolve this. These people have to work with one another. Andwhat happens in trying to hold the cards close to the vest you restrictyourself, for the those

of you who were orstill are in law enforcement could you imagine being called to the scene of a murderand your sheriff commander, or chief of police tells you,. You can only talk toone neighbor. You can’t talk to anybody else but just this one neighbor. Well,of course you would never conduct an investigation out in the quote real worldthat way. But yet in corporations all over we are restricting the process tojust two people. When, in fact, there are other people, almost invariably thatneed to be interviewed.

 

Understand first themodel profile behavior of the accused, the person who actually engages in sexualharassment behavior. There is a specific process oftentimes not all times butoftentimes that this individual engages in. And the more you understand aboutthe dynamics of what he does and how he does it then you will understand froman interview standpoint when we get to the confrontation part of aninterrogation to get a confession. How you can use this information in askilled interview setting to get to the truth. First of all, this individualuses intimidation. He will put himself in a position in what I call absoluteauthority with someone. Oftentimes he will do it in such ways that the victimor the targeted victim in his mind will have great respect for him or her. Theywill put themselves in such position of control over this individual’sfunctional life in their job that they will use their position to create anatmosphere of obedience. They will

begin to useemotional abuse where this individual will be found to have tirades ofemotional outbursts. Of degrading the victim and saying things to her or himthat disparages them and makes them feel like nothing. You see the person whoengages in quid quo pro harassment is about one step away from a criminal act.And many times has engaged in a criminal act. And so thus this person then putsthe victim in a position of isolation. Often he will have the victim stay lateafter work. Work on special projects which create intimate times and momentswith this individual. He will begin to minimize and den and blame what is goingon in his behavior or life. He will begin to make excuses for his moral lapsesof judgment, his misconduct. He will use the victim’s family history. In otherwords he wants to get to know every wrinkle in her life.

 

He begins to createwhat I call intimate moments. And in these intimate moments he not only sharespart of what he has been doing and his history because he is throwing out ahook, much like a fisherman throwing out a hook out into the water and startsto slowly troll and reel it back in to see if there is a nibble on the end ofthat hook. He will say things to her like an affair that.he had sometime ago.Just to see if there is a nib
ble on that hook. He’ll talk about other sexual thingsthat clearly don’t belong in your workplace but he will say them in a way thathe will measure the depth of the water carefully. He’ll say things in thirdperson tense of people he knows just to see if you will react. And you nibbled.And once he gets you hooked into this process. He then creates these intimatemoment s where you the victim are encouraged to share with him your secrets inyour life. If you have a secret in your life that you would prefer not to comeup in front of everyone and tell us about it, I got some secrets and I submitall of us have things in our past but creating these intimate moments thisperson is engaging you somewhat to try to remove their self esteem so that theywill become transparent and share intimate details

about their livesthat now become bullets liken to a gun. Now that I know those intimate secrets aboutyou it is going to be tough for you to turn on me. Then he will use hismanagement authority. Start putting pressure on the victim of economicpressures of how important he is to her continued life and success. And then hewill begin to utilize his or her moral weaknesses to create an even more intimatesetting where now there seems to be in his mind the ability to control thisperson. And in the very first phase what he does he gets to know life’sdetails. In other words he will sit around in conversation with his victim.Maybe even long before he has even thought about doing something inappropriate.But it seems to be a pattern in the fiber in his thread. He begins to talkabout issues unrelated to work but they clearly are of a very personal, sexualnature. He identifies almost at a subconscious level his intended target. Hepicks people who have Achilles heel. They might be separated from their spouse,they might have just broken

up from theirboyfriend, they may be coming through all kinds of crisis at home, evendomestic violence. He picks someone who is being stripped of their self esteem.Intuitively he understands he can extrapolate the rest of her self esteem. Hecreates those intimate moments, luncheons, dinners after work projects, closingthe door, having two hour conversations not about business but about what isgoing on in his or her life. He then sets the hook with her.

 

Now, up to thispoint this can be so subtle to the victim that the victim thinks well you knowI’ve got the nicest, kindest boss in the whole world. My boss is such a niceperson. He or she is always there for me. They care about how I feel. I’venever had a boss share the intimate details that he or she is sharing with me.They talk to me about my children. They care what is happening to my teenageson. They care about what is happening in my life. They care about where I amgoing in the future. They are always there. But there is a signal in thereoften times once that esteem becomes removed or in the process of being removedthat all of a sudden once he sets that hook. He does it very gently, a touch, acomment, a request and he does it almost in a joking fashion. Just so in caseshe pulls the hook out and retreats he can say Mary I was just joking. But oncethat hook is set then what happens he now has authority and control over what istaking place. And so when you look at the tactics that harassers will use thisperson will oftentimes have flags in his behavior of extreme jealousy over thisparticular employee. In other words this is my favorite employee, no one else messwith this person. I’m the one who gives her assignments. Now, statistically menharass woman more but these same behaviors happen in the reverse or the samegender situations. But when you create this intimacy where you are having theseconversations the harasser has to have a sense of insecurity about what he is engagingin. Because he knows it is wrong. And that is why he becomes controlling with jealousyso that the victim is indebted and other people know Mary is his specialemployee. He will use controlling behavior with her and others. He will uncoverpersonal ammunition about her. He will create unrealistic expectations of her.Where she is always not quite there. He will let her close to the brass ring ona project and then strip her by telling her she didn’t do it the way.he wants.So she is constantly reaching and falling. And then he wants to get her inisolation.

 

You see, this typeof offense for the most part is committed in privacy. Most people who engage insexual harassment behavior don’t telegraph it openly. They try to hide thatbehavior even though you might see signs of it and wonder in your mind if thereare signs of it there. You still are left wondering because it is done inisolation. He blames her or others for the problems how he feels he will nevertake responsibility himself for his behavior. He will begin to use sexual jokes.He will have sexual conversations. He will begin to use playful touching,inappropriate touching where clearly it is inappropriate touching. Touching inplaces where good common sense says you don’t touch another person there. Hewill create these private moments and very importantly he begins to reveal hisfantasies. Now you should at this particular stage of this session in your mindthings should start to be clicking. You should be saying to yourself, you knowwhat understanding some of this behavior when I’m interviewing someone I cannow

create some creativequestions, that may flush out this harasser to see if they have engage in someof these behaviors. This person will oftentimes be described in your interviewsas a Jekyll-Hyde type of person. The nicest guy in the world to the worst guyin the world. One minute he is calm and sedate. And the next minute he is on atirade of rage. And he targets for the most part people with low self- esteem.Now a professional colleague of mine here in ASIS we were having a conversationabout this topic yesterday. And her comment to me was Steve, I just can’t evenfathom in my widest imagination anyone sexually harasses me. Now women let mespeak to you just a brief moment. Women who are strong people who most womenare and if you are in this room you probably by percentage wise a strong willedleader. You are in a security profession, sometimes a tough profession. You’vehad to work hard and it may be difficult for you and it also may contaminate tosome extent your view of the victims. My own.wife has a difficult timecomprehending that some victims if not most are telling the truth. Because shehas such self- confidence in what she is that, she cannot fathom, like myfriend

yesterday, to betargeted as such a victim. When in fact the harasser knows who you are. When heall of a sudden walks up to you and says something to you of an off colorintimate nature he is looking at a subconscious level for your reaction and ifyou don’t like it. You say something immediately about it he knows you are notthe person to mess around with. Conversely, if he walks up to the next personand says something and that person doesn’t respond that way, he is setting thehook to find the person with low self-esteem. So here are things in yourinvestigation when you are talking to the complainant, when you are talking tothe accused, and when you are talking to witnesses, you must look for. If youare just trying to collect the Joe Friday facts. You are not listening nor areyou asking the questions that can pull out this kind of information in both theaccused and the complainant. You want to ask open- ended questions. W
here the personcan respond other than a yes or no. For instance, what kinds of things have youshared about yourself with Mary? What kind of things have you told Bill aboutyourself? Because you are looking for intimate conversations.

 

Second, you arelooking for intimate details. Now, you might say Steve you know over the last xnumber of years I have had people share intimate details about themselvesbecause we were close friends. Is that what you are talking about? No. What Iam talking about are the intimate sexual details that common sense woulddictate you don’t share those details with other people, unless they are yourminister, your priest, your rabbi, your counselor or some trusted person who ismentoring you and you are their protégé. And you are having some emotionalproblems or issues and you are trying to go through those challenges that manypeople have in life. The kind.of intimate details of a sexual nature thatclearly have been used to set the hook is what you are looking for.

 

The third thing youshould be looking for is a history, a pattern of behavior that is inappropriateon the part of the accused. Oftentimes, you will find if you ask the questions,such as this, How many times in your career have you been counseled for thistype of behavior? Instead of have you ever been counseled for this type ofbehavior? Of course not. Now thin this through. Everybody look this way justfor a brief second. Don’t take your eyes off me. How many times have you speddown the highway to avoid being late for an appointment, think of a number? Howmany times have you told a white lie, a half- truth to avoid hurting someone’sfeelings in the last two years? How many times have you taken something ofinsignificant value, even as a child, in your life? Something like a pen or pencil.That in thinking back you shouldn’t have taken that. How many times? Now thinkthis through. Just on those very simplistic and innocuous questions you werethinking of a number and most of you if you had to be transparent would have tosay yeah I remember stealing something when I was a kid. Good grief, my wife boughta dress and asked how I liked it and I told her I loved it and it didn’t lookgood to me. I

sped down thehighway I didn’t want to be late for my commitment. We all rationalize. And youtake that same rationalization process, the person who is engaged in badconduct in work is rationalizing their conduct. So you begin to look for ahistory of this person having this Achilles heel. Even though there areoccasions where someone will harass another person at work, I’ll tell you frommy own twenty-two years experience in the private sector of investigation mostof the people that I interview who end up confessing to being the harasser havebeen harassing all their lives. They’ve been doing all the time. They’ve beencounseled. They’ve been reprimanded. They’ve been fired. And in one case theCEO of a Fortune 500 Company it was his twelfth complaint that was the poisonpill that ended his career. The twelfth complaint over eighteen years. This manwas making two point nine million dollars in salary alone. You think man ifthey paid me that kind of money I wouldn’t harass anybody. It goes to show youthe darkness of this deviate behavior.

 

Number four, duringthe interview his denials will waffle. What I mean is during the interview whenyou begin to show signs of intent questions where In his mind you don’t believehim. Even though that is not the conclusion you’ve drawn you are just askingthe questions you should be asking in this interview. But he perceives that oh,oh I wasn’t expecting that question and he will begin to make excuses in hisdenials will become less vociferous, less strong. He will become lesspassionate about his innocence. He will begin to disclose well we have had someconversations but clearly nothing inappropriate. Now think this through whensomeone says like that to you . All you have been talking to them about is asexual harassment complaint. You have been asking them questions for aboutforty-five minutes to an hour. And as the intensity if your questions persistall of a sudden you get well I’ve had some conversations with Mary. Now thinkthis through why didn’t you tell me about that when you first walked in and I askedyou the question the first time? You see if you did nothing wrong you wouldhave no problem being transparent with me and tell me the kinds ofconversations you had with Mary. Because I suspect you are a good manager youknow all kinds of details about the people who report to you. You know if theyare going through personal problems at home. You know if they are divorced. Youknow if their kids are on drugs. You know whatever is going on in their life.Because people share that. But if I ask you that question initially in aninterview and you tell me I don’t know anything about Mary’s past and you waitsixty minutes to tell me about her past. What was it about the first time thatI asked you that question caused you discomfort..Unless what it was you knewwas inappropriate knowledge. That you shouldn’t be talking to Mary about. Doesthat make sense to you.

Number five,oftentimes this person will begin to cast blame at other people. Oftentimesthis individual will use for lack of a bad term, being fellow ASIS members youwill know what I am saying, he will use the body of knowledge. Not like we usein conventional ASIS the body of knowledge about security, or physicalsecurity, or personnel security or information security. He will use the bodyof knowledge of people he knows in the company. And during the interview he’llsay things to you like George. Has anybody told you about him? Now think thisthrough investigators you are asking him about his conduct with Mary. But nowhe wants to tell you about George. That and a quarter can buy you a cup ofcoffee if you can find coffee for a quarter. So you are asking yourself or youshould be asking yourself why is this person throwing red herring into the pie.Why is he telling me about George? He will even go so far as to point out Maryas the culprit. He will tell you how she was the aggressor. He has gone fromway over here to all the way to the other side of the room where she is tellingyou about sexual details that she revealed to him that he denied knowing at theinitial stage of the investigation. What do you call that? What is theterminology for that? He is a liar. That is what you call that. He is untruthful.Why would he go from this to this in the course of your interview except if tothrow you off his scent.

 

Now how many of youhave conducted interviews of a criminal investigating nature? How many of youhave gotten confessions from people who have done bad things. Almost everyone ofyou. Now you know from your investigative experience that denials have to bestopped. For the person to stop denying and complying to confess. And so youare listening to all of what is taking place in this process. All of a suddenit culminates with this sudden memory restoration..It is almost as if you putyour hand on him and this point of the interview and said heal, heal becauseyour memory is restored. I’m going to go pass the hat later, we probablyshould.

 

Number seven. He’lluse his conditional memory. He will say things like what if I could tell you afew things about Mary. Would you want to know? What if and this is ahypothetical, had a failed affair? And I tried to let her down easily but sheis in love with me and I’m not in love with her what would happen. Now go backto your investigative experience If a suspect says I borrowed the TV and I willbring it back when I’m done. What has he just said done. They confessed totaking the TV. So don’t be confused the same interview that you possess with peopleinvolved in criminal bad behavior can be used to deal with this all of a suddenflawed conditional memory problem.

 

Number eight. Whenyou ask him what he believes the investigation will prove and reveal he willside with Mary. When we are all done with this investigation, Bill, what dothink the facts, the evidence, the testimony will show? Now I want you to thinkthis through in your mind right now. Everyone of you are absolutely innocentcompletely wrongfully accused. Right this very second someone had walked in andsaid before we started this session this afternoon of something you didn’t do.As a matter of fact you have an alibi with about four thousand of your closestcolleagues and friends. We even got some video in the room of some of thepresentation during the luncheon. And someone asks you what do you think theinvestigation is going to prove. What would you say? It will support me becauseI didn’t do this. For a person to acquiesce at this point in your interview andsuggest that he believes that the investigation will support the complainant’sallegation is extremely revealing. Here is your golden nugget worth

the price ofadmission. Follow-up question. What kinds of things do you thin k we will findto support what Mary is saying? Did you get? What kinds of things do you thinkwe will find to support what Mary is saying? He may lead you to the goldentrough. That you can partake from, find witnesses, information and evidence tosupport exactly what he fears you are going to find out.

 

Number nine.Invariably and most often he will have a willingness to apologize without afull allocution to Mary to just make this thing go away. Bill, sometimes thesethings can be handled very quietly, very discreetly. What say if you apologizeto Mary, what do you think would happen. Notice I didn’t ask him, if he would,I’m throwing the hook out to him. What do you think would happen if you did?The accuser oftentimes grabs that hook and says what do you think will happenif I apologized. Now I’ve interviewed a lot of innocent people. And when I askthat question I don’t want to be to close to the innocent person. Because theyget upset with that question. What! Are you asking me to apologize to her? I’mtelling you I haven’t done anything wrong. They become incensed even by thesuggestion of resolution. They want to be vindicated. Remember that.

 

Number ten. He willgive you the names of people who will speak adversely about him. He will giveyou witnesses that if you interview will not say good things about him. Wouldyou like to know the question? Assume we go back to every employer you’ve had.We talk to everyone that you know. Who all will tell us that you have had someproblems like this before? Now watch. Pretend you have just asked me thatquestion. Steve, if we go back to everybody that knows you who all will tell usthat you have a problem in this type of area? What are you thinking about? Howmany people, think this through, answer the question mentally to yourself. Howmany people have you murdered in your life? Answer the question to yourself?How many times today have you used heroin? What color of under garments are youwearing do not belong to you? Now being facetious if you have never done it theanswer is never. There is no.one who is going to say that about you, nobody. Itis like saying if you had to guess of all the things you have taken form thiscompany that you probably should’ve taken how much think it would not go overfour thousand dollars. It is like reverse constipation. The person who all of suddenhas to think of someone is someone who has bad information.

 

So here are thequestions you want to ask. They will help you go out and represent your

company well. Tellme everything you know about Mary? Here is what you are looking for. Intimatedetails. Here is what the typical truthful person will say. Well Mary is a justa fine person a good person. I think she works in accounting. She reports toSally Jones, the director of finance. I think she has a couple of teenage sons.I know she is married because I met her husband at a company function. I know Imet him but I don’t remember what he does. That is typically what an innocentperson would say. Here is what Harry the harasser says. Harry, tell meeverything you can about Mary. Where do I begin? She is constantly telling mestuff about herself. She has had affairs. She told me about her. All of asudden he starts to give you details about Mary’s life. He begins to know thather husband is an alcoholic been beating her. He knows things about her and youare sitting there as an investigator and you are stunned that he knows thesethings. Because you are thinking the people in your reservoir, the people thatyou supervise I can’t even fathom someone telling me something like that aboutthemselves. How did he get inside this person’s skin so she would becomfortable to tell him these kind of things.And then you ask yourself as a senior supervisor what in the holy heckis he talking to her about

this crap anyway.What a lapse in judgment. Even if the investigation proves nothing else what isthis person doing on our ship except putting holes in it. When we interview allthe employees past and present how many will say you had sexual conversationswith them? Three, who are they? Do I have to tell you? Yes. Or you could tellthem it is up to you unless you have to give.them a Miranda warning as a policeofficer. It is a valid question. Well I think Sally sue would say that. Whoelse? I don’t want to get to the details yet. Who else? Mary Jo would say that Whoelse/ Roberta Sorenson would say that . Who else? Even though they said three Ikeep saying who else until they say that is it. They may have just given me tennames. You have to be a good interviewer. Think this through. Then you go backand say well tell me everything that Mary Jane would say. Well she’ll sayshe’ll lie. That is what she’ll do she’ll lie. What kind of lies will she tellme? She’ll tell you I did this and I swear I to God it is not true. On my mother’sgrave I did not do this. I’ll put my hand, I’ll stand up before a jury andswear I am innocent, mister. Oh thank you very much I think I protest toloudly. When we dig into this how

many will say thatothers will say was sexual harassment? All of sudden by asking open ended questionsthe person can still say zero none. But you will be shocked when the personsays one. You weren’t prepared you didn’t really think they would do that. Yesalmost everyone in this room raised their hand and said I go
t confessions frompeople doing bad things. Why would you go into a sexual harassmentinvestigation and assume anything less. That you would not get to the truth.You see one of the things and Thursday morning I will talk about how tointegrate HR into the security function. One of the problems we have assecurity professionals and we have to stop it, we just have to cut it out, weare constantly trying to create value in our organizations as a securityprofessional, as the go to security pro. But yet we don’t really understand thebusiness

world that thebusiness managers are living inside. We see the world from our security,

governmentalservice, our law enforcement service experience. We hang around people justlike ourselves and we don’t really know our colleagues on our teams and theissues that they face.

 

And so when they arecontemplating who should be the go to person, the go to pro, they do see you asJohn Wayne. To insensitive a person to put in such a delicate situation when infact when.you go to them and you show them. Look of all the people in yourorganization who has conducted thousand incident investigations and has gottenhundreds of confessions this is the skill set that you hired me to do. You seemy colleagues in the HR community they are looking for you, they are wantingyou to step up the stairs. Because they are genuinely frustrated having toconduct this investigation. Because you see they don’t know what to look for.They don’t know how to ask these types of questions and they would be kind ofbashful or intimidated to ask these questions. For you see to the person who isnot a security person. The person who has not gone through training they lookat these types of questions and go no idiot in their right mind would everanswer these types of questions. In fact they do. Number four In detail whatMary

has alleged. Nowthis should come art the very beginning. This should be number one.

 

Now he may havereceived some information that Mary has talked about him. But I will tell youbecause companies treat these allegations with such sensitivity that usually itis like an ambush when Bill walks in and he is being questioned about a sexualharassment. He may have heard some rumors in the grapevine. He may even haveknown it was Mary but he doesn’t know what Mary has said. And all of a suddenhe begins to give you details that later on you will ask him how did he come bythis knowledge. In this interview with this vice president I asked him thisquestion. He had told the president of the company. He had told the executivevice president. He had told the police. He had no clue. Why Mary was makingsome allegation against him and he was very unsure as to what it was that shesays he did. Plausible deniability. And when I asked him this question helooked at me for five seconds without a breath. You could have heard a pin dropin the room. Now think this through why is he hesitating? What is it he is thinkingabout? He takes a sigh and proceeds to give me detail that almost mirrors thedetail Mary told me about. He even mentions a white towel in the back seat ofhis car that the police have taken into evidence..And I asked the question whenthe DNA report comes back what will it tell us? Well I am embarrassed to tellyou this. It’s okay I hear a lot of things. What is on your mind? Well not thatday but a few weeks before that my wife and I were in the car and we kind offooled around and I guess you will find some of me on some of it. You know whatI mean. Sure do. I’m kind of embarrassed to tell you that. In the police reporthe had told the officer that the towel didn’t belong to him. Part of a goodinvestigation is getting your facts. You can’t get your facts if your head’s inthe sand because another part of your anatomy is seriously exposed. So then Iasked him how would you then explain isn’t it true that you told the policeofficer that the towel wasn’t yours. Oh yeah, yeah I probably did tell himthat. Explain to me I’ll be quiet you talk

why Bill you toldthe police officer you didn’t know whose towel that was. well, I know they weregoing to find my semen on it and I told the policeman my semen was on it. Billthe officer said it was not dry yet, the semen. Is it possible Bill, think thisthrough, that is it possible that maybe you came aroused and had somespontaneous ejaculation and you used the towel and she misinterpreted thatthough you were having nothing to do with Mary? That’s a good question. Whywould you say that is a good question? That’s a good question man uh it was along drive. Bill, it was a ninety- minute drive. Yeah it was a long drive.Notice his denials are waffling. Assume bill that we believe Mary what do youthink should happen? Now listen to the question. Your first instinct is youlisten to the question as an innocent person sitting here. So let me give youhow both typically respond. The person who has been falsely accused when hesays what if we believe Mary what do you think should happen will come out ofhis shoes and socks and say you will be wrong! The harasser says I willprobably lose my job, my wife will leave me, my

kids won’t talk tome and my dog, Pepper, won’t even lick my hand. Oh my god I have twenty-five yearsin this company. Only a few more years I can pull the plug and retire. Oh manoh.man I never dreamt it would go this far. Crying out for help. You see theinnocent person sees the question as an innocent person. If the person istrying to deflect attention away from himself hey have to pretend to beinnocent. How do you pretend to be something you are not without being overlygregarious in your behavior.

 

So what are thebehaviors that I find in the false accuser. First she will reveal very personalconversations with Bill. Second, she will know intimate details about Bill’ssexual life. Third she will have oftentimes of like inappropriate behavior inthe workplace. Four she will have an unusual delay or motive for finally comingforth. Something has happened. She is about to be fired and now she is makingthe allegation. She says it has been going on for two years but she onlyreports it when she is given her third written reprimand. And the fourth one isgoing to be the poison pill and the exit out the door. Fifth, she will admit tocompromising situations that she has been involved with the person she isaccusing of harassment. She will be quick to admit to how much she wants. Thequestion you should ask the complainant is: How should we resolve this? I willtell you most victims in the initial investigation don’t think money. They wantit to stop. They want tit solved. But they will be quick for money. Numberseven. They will be inconsistent with what they think should happen to him. Oneminute they will want him

hung out by a treeand the next they are willing to forgive him. Eight. They will not have

confided in anyoneis a sign that is unusual. Not always consistent some people will keep things tothemselves and reveal it to no one else. But I will tell you it is unusual. Whoall have you told that this has been happening to you? Usually the
true victimhas told several people. Close friends, relatives, mother, sister, boyfriend,husband. They confided in someone. They will add to the story as you continuequestioning them. You are saying how could this person not have told me this anhour earlier. Where are they coming up this piece of information?

 

Number ten, theywill waffle with your intensity. They will walk away because they didn’tanticipate that you were going to ask them all these questions. They thoughtyou were just going to get the facts. Instead you are interviewing to findconsistency or the lack there of. So questions you would ask. Tell meeverything you know about Joe of a personal nature. When we interview all theemployees past and present how many will say you talk to freely? That you talkto freely with them or Joe. Number three How many would say you have had someissues with Joe that might suggest that you might not have told us everything?You see the guilty person thinks you know more than you do. They anticipate youare going to find the truth or pieces of it so they want to fit the puzzletogether for you. Number four What do you want us to do with Joe? Oftentimesthe false accuser gives you answers that are inconsistent with the falseallegations. She is claiming sinister action, and she wants three thousanddollars. Number five. What is the worst thing you are going to find out. Nowthe innocent person when they are asked this question they tell you about Joe.Oftentimes a false accuser will tell you about themselves. They identifythemselves about that question. They start telling you of their lapses ofintegrity that they had. The question was what is the worst thing we will findout about you know it was what is the worst thing we will find out about? Theguilty person becomes transparent and reveals because you see you well knowfrom your experience asking the right question and having the courage to ask itis part of a compatriot investigation. The remedial steps that are so importantbecause if you conduct a competent investigation you can stop litigation in itstracks form happening. Because when you ask the truthful victim that is beingharasses what would you like us to do? Assume our investigation supports whatyou are saying and we believe what you are saying. What would you like to seehappen? If you do what she wants you to do as

remedial steps shemay have absolutely no condition to litigate. Because you have performed.effectiveremedial action that she signs off on. I am satisfied with the steps taken bymy employer in this investigation. Six months later someone puts a seed in hermind. You could have gotten ten thousand dollars out of that company. Ohreally. She accepted the remedial steps that you took. Stop the behavior. Makesure you conduct competent interviews of everyone. Not just the accused notjust the accused but everyone. Those people who can give you the information tohave a competent investigation. Now that may be your biggest challenge ladiesand gentlemen. Convincing someone In your hierarchy that you have to interviewother employees.

 

Well wait a minutethen everybody is going to know. Come on don’t you think everybody knowsalready. You think she actually walked in here and you are the first person shehas told this to. Come on. We owe it to both of them to do our job, to havecourage and to ask questions. Importantly do not retaliate. I’ve had caseswhere the facts strongly suggest that both people were wrong. Both were engagedin behavior that was unprofessional but I tell my client you go fire Mary youwill be sued. Because it is called retaliation. If there is even a piece oftruth and you fire her for all her bad behavior there is a jury out therelooking for your pockets. You may have to bite it on the bullet. And say Iwould love to be able terminate but may not be prudent. Importantly do what isright. Sometimes we consternate over our decision when our course of action isapparent as the nose on our face. And sometimes we get so concerned when weknow in our heart of hearts that we have to terminate Bill. We need to cut himlose set him free. Because the liability of him staying is just to great. Youcan’t be afraid to confront. That is the second area where mistakes happen inthese types of investigations because people are afraid to confront people. Ifyou are a complainant I need to confront you for you to

convince me that youare telling me the truth. An interview is not a pristine event it is a free flowingprocess form of communication. Where I am asking you questions and you aregiving.me information. And you are telling me things you may think you areuncomfortable about and I am just as uncomfortable writing them down. At somepoint I have to confront you. Challenge you to see if you stand steadfast. Doyou waffle if you never confront. You don’t ask the questions such as, If youwere to bring in six people who love and trust you the most and they were tohear the things you and I were just talking about and everything else that hasbeen said about you what would they say? They would say I’m sexually harassingher. Well then Bill if six people would say that about you who love and trustyou the most what do you think six people in a jury box would say to you? Theywould say I did it then Joe isn’t time you did the right thing. Tell the truthhere and now.

 

Let’s move onquickly. In the investigative approach these are the people who I believeshould be strongly involved in the entire assessment team. One your laborcounsel Whether it is your general counsel, labor counsel

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