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Workplace Investigations

Published:  January 14, 2019

 

The dawn of the New Year is a good time for employer's to review their investigation policies. Here are three areas you will want to focus on:

(1) Make sure that your investigation is headed by a neutral person (typically HR) and that the investigation involves an interview of all parties and witnesses as well as a review of all pertinent documents. It is important that the investigator begin the investigation with an open mind and with no predetermined opinion as to the veracity of the allegations. The investigator should interview the employee who filed the complaint, the alleged harasser and all known witnesses. The interviewer should ask questions of all parties that are crafted to not lead to a particular response and then follow the evidence as appropriate.

(2) During the investigation, it is important for the investigator to stick to the facts as they are discovered and then remain objective. Again, this relates to remaining neutral. The investigator should not disregard facts learned during the course of an investigation just because the investigator doesn't want to believe them.

(3) In preparing an investigation report, the investigator will want to remain mindful of all applicable company policies and further, how each employee was made aware of the policies in question. Typically, this can be done through a signed Acknowledgement for the company's Employee Handbook.

Due to personal liability imposed by Massachusetts law, is important to have a thorough investigation of all allegations in order to protect the company.

If you have any questions regarding investigation of employee allegations, or any other aspect of employment law, please contact the attorneys at Royal, P.C.

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