Whether in school or the workplace, responding to a complaint of misconduct is extremely challenging, especially when work and school are remote, and under the complex new guidelines for educational institutions issued in August 2020.
The stakes are high for all parties involved, and an investigation can drain resources, impact the morale of staff and students and result in accusations of unfairness. But an appropriate and prompt response to every complaint is critical to maintaining a healthy and productive work or academic setting.
DP Law is well-prepared for the challenges posed by current conditions and can conduct investigations in person or remotely. Djuna Perkins has conducted over one hundred investigations of sexual misconduct and other discrimination (under Title IX and Title VII) for New England colleges, universities and independent schools, and dozens of others for municipalities, businesses and non-profits. Matters have involved parties and witnesses of all ages, religions, ethnicities and races; parties and witnesses with special needs, including those at residential programs and on the Autism spectrum; and parties and witnesses who identify as LGBTQ+. Even before the pandemic, we conducted many investigations remotely because parties were too far away to appear in person. Djuna has also undergone extensive training about the new Title IX regulations.
Our investigations are trauma-informed:
we know how trauma impacts the ability to perceive and recall events in general, and that every person has a unique history and experience that also plays an important role. We strive to ask the hard questions with a minimum of distress to the individuals involved and without significant disruption of the institution’s everyday routine and with cultural competence.
Our methods work: our investigations have been reviewed by both the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and have met the exacting standards of those agencies. They have withstood scrutiny by the courts and the press.