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Preparing for an internal employment investigation

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Employment Law

When concerns about misconduct, discrimination or any other employment issues arise within a company, conducting an internal employment investigation is important. This process not only addresses the issue at hand but also helps maintain a safe and compliant workplace.

For business owners and HR professionals, knowing how to prepare for and conduct these investigations is key to their effectiveness and legality.

What and who?

Before anything else, it’s important to clearly define what the investigation will cover. Those involved need to determine the specific allegations and understand the potential outcomes of the investigation. This step helps to ensure that the investigation remains focused and relevant.

Choosing the right investigator is also important. This person should be impartial, experienced, and if possible, external to the organization to avoid any bias. If an internal investigator is used, they should not have a direct relationship with any individuals involved in the investigation.

When and how?

Next, those involved will need to outline the steps that need to be taken, including a detailed list of whom to interview, what documents to review and what evidence needs to be gathered. Establishing a timeline is also important to better ensure the investigation is conducted efficiently and without unnecessary delay.

Once the investigation plan is in place, it’s important to maintain confidentiality to protect the integrity of the investigation and the privacy of all parties involved. It’s also important to document every step taken during the investigation process, from the evidence collected to the interviews conducted. This documentation could be consequential if defending the actions taken by the company becomes necessary.

Finally, those involved need to be prepared for the outcomes of the investigation, which might include disciplinary actions, policy changes, or even legal proceedings. Depending on the findings, the company might need to take corrective actions to prevent future incidents.