How to Conduct an Effective Internal Investigation of Workplace Misconduct
With the increase in employment discrimination claims and retaliation claims arising out of workplace misconduct, the importance of properly investigating claims of improper treatment of employees may be an employer’s only tool to prevent liability for workplace misconduct. Obviously, employers do not receive a warning from employees when something will occur that requires an investigation. Worse yet, because of a failure of training, supervisors often do not understand when an investigation should be initiated. Thus, it is vitally important to be ready when the need for an investigation arises. The courts have made it clear that an employer’s best defense against liability for co-worker harassment is effectively investigating the claim and taking appropriate remedial action. A good internal investigation is a critical step in this process.