It is necessary to conduct a full and complete investigation, take written statements and prepare an all-encompassing position statement. You must prepare it as you would if you were going to court. As stated before, some witnesses may no longer be in your employ and at best because of the time lapse, many recollections will be dulled by the passage of time. It is not unusual for several months, even a couple of years, to pass before the agency pursues its investigation after submission of the written position statement. For example, the head of the Indianapolis EEOC recently told a committee of which I am a member that the average investigator has about 145 cases to investigate. The normal investigation caseload for 6 months is about 40. Therefore, you can see what the time factor means. The agencies involved here in Indiana generally readily grant one or two extensions of time to respond. Again, statements should be sought from fellow workers in plain, general terms. There may be multiple reasons for your good faith legitimate business reason to take action against someone's employment, and you should not narrow your defense to one or two items. Many times, however, the agency will ask for more information than they are entitled to. This is where counsel once again comes in. Sometimes you just have to refuse some information they request as being immaterial to the case. It is in your best interest to keep the agency's investigation as narrow as possible.
In summary, good preventive personnel practices are the best defense, but even those can't insulate you from a disgruntled employee's charges. We've been successful in getting about 98 percent of these cases dismissed, because of good investigative procedures, taking good statements from witnesses and the compilation of a good position statement supplemented by legal authority.