So you’ve received a harassment complaint from one employee about another employee. What do you do? Do you have to investigate? Can you use your common sense and just discipline? Is the complaint clearly BS in the first place? What if the complaint is about a break-the-company level fraud by your CFO?
Workplace investigations are usually an unwelcome but necessary business diversion. Many employers would rather avoid them and will attempt, or seek counsel’s validation for, a quick and dirty alternative such as a quick-release termination of the alleged wrongdoer or relocation of the complainant. But these are not alternatives to investigating, are never the upfront solution and often fail to satisfy the legal obligation to properly investigate. These responses are more likely to expose an employer to greater liability.
A complaint of workplace misconduct needs to move quickly, and yet is no time for fast thinking. Employers should instead think carefully about the substance of the complaint, the impact on the involved parties and the business fallout if their response is the wrong one.
Continue Reading Do I have to hire a super expensive external investigator? Maybe. Maybe not.