Conduct an Internal Investigation

Key Points

  • Employers should conduct internal investigations whenever they receive complaints of workplace misconduct or otherwise become aware of workplace misconduct.
  • In some cases, employers are legally obligated to investigate. When they are alerted to claims of fraud, criminal activity or harassment creating an intolerable working environment, employers may be liable for the underlying misconduct and their failure to take remedial action.
  • It is crucial that employers select the right individual to lead the organization considering factors like bias, personal relationships, direct involvement in the allegations, training and whether the employer desires to shield the results of the investigation from disclosure.
  • Effective investigations consist of document review, witness interviews, surveillance and other investigative techniques. Employers must comply with applicable state and federal laws when they wish to surveil employees.
  • When the investigation has concluded, employers may decide to take action. It is important that employers weigh the evidence fairly and that they make decisions stemming from internal investigations in good faith.

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