Best Practices for Making Factual Findings
- Make clear and specific factual findings on each allegation.
- Do NOT make legal conclusions, i.e., “Respondent sexually harassed Complainant.” Instead, state what conduct Respondent engaged in, i.e., “Respondent made sexually explicit comments to Complainant.”
- Do NOT give opinions. For example, don’t say that the Respondent dislikes women in power. Instead, state that Respondent had a history of conflict with women in leadership roles.
- List or identify all evidence that supports the factual finding. If you found that the Respondent made sexually explicit comments to Complaint, list what you relied on to make that finding. For example:
- Two witnesses heard Respondent make the comments.
- Complaint told her co-worker about the incident shortly after it happened.
- Witnesses heard Respondent make similar comments to others in the past.
- Address conflicting evidence and resolve it. For example, if one witness heard the alleged comments and another did not, explain how you resolved the conflict. For example: Witness Two was farther away from Respondent than Witness One and likely could not hear the Respondent as well as Witness One, or, Witness Two and Respondent are close friends outside of work and Witness Two is likely biased in favor of Respondent.