Response Team Protocols


Response Protocol


Triggered when:

  • Someone files a complaint about harassment
  • A member of the RESPONSE TEAM observes a harassment incident


Step 1: Make sure a formal, confidential complaint is recorded (see Reporting Form)


Step 2: Notify the Board of Directors promptly of significant allegations by Human Resources if the incident was reported to Human Resources team.


Step 3: As a team, assess the severity of the harassment. Treat the complaining party with respect.


Timeframe : Response team to assess severity and based on the level of severity, there time-frame varies. Response team will respond within Business days in 24 hours of acknowledgement to take actions and all the levels will be assess within 48 business hours.


“Severity” can mean that the incident itself has high impact on the individual being harassed (i.e. threat of physical harm), or on the event itself (i.e., the incident was witnessed by many and a non-response will ruin what we are trying to build here).


Severity can be grouped according to levels:

Level 1
  • Microaggressions
  • Sexist jokes
  • Racist jokes
  • Making fun of people’s accents

In general, Level 1 can be considered generalized racist or sexist attitudes that are not specifically targeted at a participant – by a single individual.

Level 2
  • Targeted micro-aggressions
  • Level 1 behaviour but more repeated and done by a group of participants
  • Level 1 behaviour targeted towards a specific participant
  • Level 1 behaviour repeated by a participant after a warning
Level 3
  • Threat of physical harm/abuse
  • Targeted sexual harassment
  • Behavior that will threaten many participants


Level 4
  • Crime issue
  • Rape case

Step 4: Based on the assessment, decide on a response.


Responses can be:


Level 1 Response Talk to the perpetrator about the complaint, and give them a verbal warning Tell the person who lodged a complaint about the response
Level 2 Response Talk to the perpetrator about the complaint, give them a final writing warningTell the person who lodged a complaint about the response
Level 3 Response Expel the harasser

Ban the harasser from future events

Let the rest of the Pandas and the community know about the decision

 Level           4 Response team member helps out the victims for his/her safety

Responses          Report to police station/township police officer if the victim wishes to

    Expel the harasser

    Ban the harasser from future events

    Let the rest of the Pandas and the community know about the decision


Step 5: Resolve the incident (To be filled up by Response Team)





Key Steps For Responding To Harassment


  • Notify the Board of Directors promptly of significant allegations

  • Treat the complaining party with respect and treat the victim feel safe

  • Promptly and thoroughly investigate the complaint


  • Interviews with the complaining party
  • Interviews with the accused victim
  • Interviews with other employees and third parties (contractors, outside witnesses, etc.) who may have relevant information
  • Review of emails, memos, and other relevant communications
  • Review of the personnel files of the parties (including any prior disciplinary write-ups)
  • Action taken to address the concerns raised, potentially including training and discipline, which should be clearly documented

Here are guideline investigation:

  • To notify employees of their rights and depending on the nature of the harassment, to press separate charges against the alleged harasser.
  • Take care to not disadvantage the complainant or to prejudice the alleged harasser if the claim is found to be unwarranted.
  • Provide the alleged harasser with an opportunity to tell their version of the story and to identify all supporting witnesses.
  • Ensure that the investigation and grievances are handled in a manner that ensures that the identities of the persons involved and all records relating to the harassment complaint are kept confidential.
  • Ensure that provisional working arrangements are made, if necessary, to ensure the alleged victim and perpetrator may continue working in a safe environment while the case is being investigated. This could include a temporary relocation of the accused to a different workspace.
  • Determine the appropriate scope of the investigation; the scope will vary depending upon the allegations and should be reassessed if facts change.
  • Choose an investigator who has good people skills and judgment to approach interview process for both victim and harasser will be important in almost every investigation. If you don’t have a qualified neutral candidate inside, hire an experienced one from outside.
  • If the initiation of the investigation is delayed (for example, because the appropriate internal investigator is traveling or the company is searching for an appropriate outside investigator), document the reasons for the delay. The company may need to explain in litigation, why it did not begin to investigate immediately.
  • The investigator should review company policies or procedures in place for dealing with harassment or discrimination and you don’t want to make the situation worse by not following your own articulated policies.
  • Assure the complaining party at the outset that the complaint will be treated seriously, that there will not be any retaliation for raising it, and that any concerns about retaliation should be brought to the investigator’s attention immediately so that they can be addressed.
  • Instruct the accused not to contact the complainant regarding the complaint, and not to engage in conduct that is—or even might be viewed as—retaliatory. And if the accused violates the instructions (which happens regularly), take action immediately. It is not unusual for an employee or executive to be terminated for violating these instructions in the course of an investigation.
  • The investigator needs to keep an open mind when gathering and reviewing information, and to refrain from coming to a conclusion until all relevant data has been reviewed and assessed.
  • Encourage all involved to maintain the confidentiality needed for a thoughtful investigation while avoiding heavy-handed mandates.
  • Consider asking the complainant at the conclusion of the interview what he or she hopes will happen as a result of the investigation. The company is not required to comply with unreasonable demands, but some requests (for example, a transfer, additional training, time off) may be helpful in resolving the concerns constructively.
  • Fairness is important. The investigation must be evenhanded, and both be fair—and appear to be fair—to all involved.



Ethic of a Facilitator


The investigator should be impartial and objective, and have the necessary skills and adequate time to conduct the investigation. Key factors to consider:


  • The investigator who has either real, material conflicts of interest, or who could be perceived as having a conflict of interest, can do more damage than just making your company look unprofessional; it can be failure the integrity of the entire investigation.
  • Whenever possible, the investigator should be someone the participants view as impartial,though this may not be possible in every case.
  • Organization may choose to use an in-house (internal) investigator. In such cases, the internal hierarchy of the organization should be considered to avoid the perception of biased or compromised objectivity.
  • Organization who choose to retain an outside investigator should consider any requirements which may apply to outside investigators. An outside attorney investigator conducting an impartial investigation should appreciate the distinction between the role of impartial investigator and that of advocate.
  • The investigator should consider whether specialized expertise is required, and, if so, consider whether the investigator should partner with another expertise in investigation.
  • The investigator should create an environment that maximizes the chances of obtaining reliable information and should document (either through note taking, recording or some other method) the witness’ testimony in a reliable and consistent fashion.
  • The investigator should document the steps taken during the investigation, and the investigator’s decision making process, so that there will be a reliable record of the evidence the investigator relied upon in reaching his/her findings.
  • To promote clarity, the investigator may wish to obtain appropriate documentation of the scope of the investigation.
  • An investigator should understand the harassment policies with respect to allowing others, such as attorneys, union representatives, friends and family members, to be present during an interview.
  • An investigator should avoid communicating conclusions before the investigation is complete.
  • The investigator should take steps to safeguard the confidentiality of the investigation without guaranteeing anonymity or complete confidentiality.


Questions to Ask the Complainant:


  • Who, what, when, where, and how: Who committed the alleged harassment? What exactly occurred or was said? When did it occur and is it still ongoing? Where did it occur? How often did it occur? How did it affect you?
  • How did you react? What response did you make when the incident(s) occurred or afterwards?
  • How did the harassment affect you? Has your job been affected in any way?
  • Are there any persons who have relevant information? Was anyone present when the alleged harassment occurred? Did you tell anyone about it? Did anyone see you immediately after episodes of alleged harassment?
  • Did the person who harassed you harass anyone else? Do you know whether anyone complained about harassment by that person?
  • Are there any notes, physical evidence, or other documentation regarding the incident(s)?
  • How would you like to see the situation resolved?
  • Do you know of any other relevant information?

Questions to Ask the Alleged Harasser:

  • What is your response to the allegations?
  • If the harasser claims that the allegations are false, ask why the complainant might lie.
  • Are there any persons who have relevant information?
  • Are there any notes, physical evidence, or other documentation regarding the incident(s)?
  • Do you know of any other relevant information?


Questions to Ask Third Parties:

  • What did you see or hear? When did this occur? Describe the alleged harasser’s behavior toward the complainant and toward others in the workplace.
  • What did the complainant tell you? When did s/he tell you this?
  • Do you know of any other relevant information?
  • Are there other persons who have relevant information?




Guiding Principles for Conducting Workplace Investigations