The agency will assign an investigator who will interview the employee, management officials, and possibly other witnesses. These interviews are generally conducted either in person, over the phone, or via written affidavit. Regardless of the way the interview is conducted, a written affidavit will be produced for each person interviewed, and will be contained in the record when the Report of Investigation is issued.
It is important that the complainant (the employee who filed the complaint) be focused in their investigative interview and provide all of the information necessary to prove their claims. This can be more difficult than it sounds.
It is important for a complainant to make sure that their interview paints a complete picture of the discrimination they faced. No information will be inferred when the employee's testimony is relied upon at a hearing. It is not enough for an employee to say "My boss did these things to me, and is of a different race than I am." when alleging race discrimination. Instead, an employee must clarify "My boss is of a different race than I am and did these things to me. I believe that my boss treated me this way because of my race." In phrasing the claim this way, the employee has, essentially, called their boss racist, which can be uncomfortable.
Despite the discomfort an employee may face in directly stating their claims and the reasons they believe discrimination plays a part in those claims, it is extremely important. During an investigative interview, an employee should make sure to address each element of a prima facie case of discrimination of the type the employee is alleging. This will ensure the most comprehensive record is developed for the employee as their case moves forward.
At Melville Johnson, P.C. we understand the importance of helping employees give the most impactful testimony possible. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, the federal employee attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. may be able to help. Call or message us today to discuss your situation and learn how we can assist you.