How can employers be protected when conducting investigations?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2023 | Employment Law for Employers

Regardless of the size of a Texas employer, any business that has employees could be faced with the need for a workplace investigation. This could be for a variety of reasons ranging from a worker simply having a bad attitude on the job and extending to more serious violations like threats of violence and theft.

These investigations are important to protect the business and other employees. Still, given the current climate where people lodge complaints and seek compensation for alleged employer wrongdoing, employers must know the law and adhere to the proper procedure when there is an investigation. Having professional help is wise before, during and after the investigation.

What should employers know as they proceed with an investigation?

As part of the investigation, the employer must remember to follow the proper steps. Employers should consider the following: when an investigation is necessary; what it should establish regarding the allegations; who will do the investigating; who might be witnesses; which documents might be needed; what blueprint is needed for the investigation; what questions should be asked; how best to protect records and files; and ways to adjust as needed when the investigation is underway.

In addition, employers must know when to move forward with a formal investigation. Examples include: an employee lodging a complaint or grievance; employees reporting questionable activities with a reluctance to be overt about it; employees’ performance suffering without explanation; if there is misconduct; or rules being violated.

Employers need legal protection to avoid negative consequences

The primary objective is to find out what happened with an employee before deciding on the appropriate course of action. If an employee claims that another employee was sexually harassing them, the facts need to be gathered before deciding what to do about it. The same is true for other issues that might arise.

Since jobs are on the line and the business could face allegations of wrongdoing if they make a mistake, it is wise to be fully prepared.