This is quite helpful Theresa. I think the biggest issue here, is, wait for it, …communication!
If we could facilitate open communication, address things in a timely fashion, and have one or more people who can act as investigators, and keep the complainants in the loop, then we, as an organization, can probably avoid the more difficult legal situations.
But part of me still struggles with wondering if it is possible to investigate a complaint by a party, gather information through an investigation through all parties, and end up by determining that the complaining party is more the problem than anyone else. Let’s say in this situation that three or four other staff members, when asked about the complaint, come forth with credible, multiple witness information that the complainant is actually the one causing the problems, and these others are the ones feeling traumatized.
Does the initial complainant have some special status by being first, to not have any negative consequences lodged against them? Or does a well-done and documented investigation allow leadership to apply the corrective measure necessary? I hope this isn’t a yes/no answer!
Disclaimer: not official legal or psychological advice or opinion