Misconduct Leading to Workplace Investigations

Although we (employers and employees alike) wish that misconduct didn’t occur in the workplace, the reality is that it can and does happen. Therefore, organizations must have a plan for how to react and respond. Upon receiving a complaint of employee misconduct of any kind, it is important to promptly and thoroughly investigate and address any misconduct that is found. Employee misconduct can occur in many forms. As a result, we have conducted workplace investigations for a variety of issues including:

  • Ethics violations
  • Discrimination claims
  • Harassment claims
  • Violation of company rules
  • Compliance concerns
  • Fraud
  • Retaliation claims
  • Toxic work environment claims

How to Conduct Workplace Investigations

It is critical to address claims of employee misconduct promptly and accurately to protect your employees, your company, and the company’s reputation. Properly conducted employment investigations can minimize your liability. Our general recommendations for conducting effective investigations include:

  • Balance your quick response with proper preparation.
  • Use carefully crafted questions to uncover all of the pertinent facts.
  • Set the appropriate tone for your investigation interviews and be sure your interviewers are well trained.
  • Thoroughly document your findings so they can be used effectively if you need to explain them in the future.
  • Take appropriate and swift action to address your findings.

If you would like to dive deeper into these concepts, you should read our Emerging Issues in HR article: Investigations with Intent.

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