Section 4:

Reporting & Response Procedures


Your organization should have impartial policies in place for reporting, tracking, investigating, and responding to claims of sexual harassment or gender discrimination. All complaints should be treated seriously, respectfully, and urgently. Survivors have shared that their poor response felt nearly as hurtful to them as the original misconduct they made a complaint about. Proper reporting and response procedures can also guide your organization in imposing consistent and proportionate corrective action when misconduct is found to have occurred. Continue in this section to learn more about best practices for reporting procedures and responding to complaints.


Review the standards and resources below on Reporting and Response Procedures. Review the relevant checklist.

Using the standards on Reporting and Response, design a written discrimination and harassment reporting system.

Designate multiple points of access for reporting (i.e. through CEO, direct supervisor, other manager, and/or HR department).

Design a written investigation process that the organization will follow to investigate reports of discrimination and harassment. Ensure that your investigators are trained in conducting investigations of this nature. Ensure you are familiar with outside investigators that you may choose to utilize for these investigations.

Design a written process that the organization will follow in responding to reports of discrimination and harassment. Consider responses that warrant investigations and those that do not.

Communicate the reporting and investigations procedures to staff and make a plan to do so regularly.


In addition to the EEOC checklist below, you can also review pages 40-44 of the EEOC Report on Reporting Systems for Harassment; Investigations; Corrective Actions.

Preventing retaliation is key to any reporting and investigations systems. See here to learn more about how to prevent retaliation.

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