Sound Employer Practices Remain Key to Successful Defenses
As is clear from the Seventh Circuit case, employer investigations remain a key component of successful defenses of claims. Employers should utilize human resources or other professionals who are trained in both conducting investigations and writing investigation reports to investigate allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation. Also keep in mind that, as the Sixth Circuit case suggests, if a long period of time elapses between the employee's protected activity and the adverse action, it is likely that additional evidence of retaliatory conduct will be required in order for the employee to prevail. To defeat any such evidence, employers should be sure that the legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for the actions taken are well-documented.