- Investigation Guides
- An Employer's Guide to Conducting Internal Investigations
- 47 Quick Tips: Better Investigation Interviews
- Checklist for Sexual Harassment Investigations
- Black Book of Lie Detection
After all the evidence has been gathered and interviews concluded, the investigator must evaluate and make a determination as to the merits of the complaint. The investigator should look into the details of the statements provided and determine whether witness statements were consistent. The investigator should also consider whether the witness had any reason to be less than truthful. Generally speaking, the investigator will formulate conclusions based on the totality of the investigation. Any written statements should be carefully drafted to include concise statements of facts and conclusions.
Even in situations where the employer moves quickly to investigate, it could be liable if it fails to take appropriate remedial action. The investigator must move quickly to report his/her findings to corporate decision makers so that prompt action can be taken. This includes protecting a complainant from any form of retaliation, disciplining the accused, providing employee training, and revising and reissuing general company procedures, as needed.
Once a decision has been reached, it should be communicated to the complainant so they understand and are prepared for the action to be taken. The appropriate remedial action depends largely on the circumstances, and several factors should be considered: the seriousness and frequency of the conduct; the harasser's overall employment record; the victim's overall record and employment history; the discipline imposed for other similar prior cases of harassment and for violation of other similar company policies; and whether other company policies may relate to the situation for example, a policy of progressive disciple.
Once a decision is reached, the employer should provide the investigation results only to those people who need to know. If the employer has a duty to prevent the complaint of conduct, such as harassment, the employer may disclose the general information to its workforce. While the specific discipline should not be disclosed, the employer should advise the employees that it is taking steps to prevent recurrence of the offending behavior. Disclosure of the investigation results provides an excellent opportunity to reinforce the employer's anti-harassment, anti-discrimination, business ethics and other employment policies.
- Introduction to Internal Investigations
- How to Prepare for an Investigation
- How to Conduct Interviews
- How to Develop Investigative Recommendations