Many different problems can arise in a company that lead an employer to recognize the need for an investigation, and not every investigation necessarily fits the pop culture profile of small room interrogations, witnesses under harsh lights and glum-faced detective work! A properly conducted workplace investigation – one that is prompt, thorough and objective – can help defend a company should a lawsuit be filed later. Typical reasons include substance abuse, discrimination complaints, threats against others, harassment complaints and workplace theft. Employers and employment law attorneys recognize that an in-house investigation may not be unbiased, simply because managers may not have the skills to conduct an investigation and have a natural loyalty to their employer. In a court of law, the in-house investigation conducted by a manager or by human resources may be determined to be too one-sided and only for the purpose of exonerating the company rather than determining if the employee was treated fairly.
As a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators awi.org their motto is simple: Promoting and enhancing the quality of impartial workplace investigations ™. Their “Guiding Principles”, based on charter members roundtable meetings and lengthy research, serve to enhance the quality of impartial workplace investigations.
Human Resources Simplified “Just the Facts” program can provide an investigator who will follow a structured 11-step process:
- Provide guidance to leadership as to the need for an investigation
- Ensure that the investigator is appropriate for the type of incident
- Mutually establish the scope of the investigation
- Ensure confidentiality of the information gathered
- Plan for the investigation
- Work with the employer representative as to scheduling
- Work within the provisions of the union contract, if applicable
- Gather written evidence
- Conduct witness interviews
- Document the investigation process
- Prepare a written report of findings
We offer human resources management on a monthly retainer basis, a project basis or an hourly basis.
“Nothing matters but the facts. Without them, the science of criminal investigation is nothing more than a guessing game.” – Blake Edwards, American Film Director
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