Investigating claims of illegal, unethical conduct or discrimination in the workplace are vital human resource practices that should not be taken lightly. While preventative measures should always be taken to make sure misconduct does not occur, incidents may still happen that need to be investigated. Conducting workplace investigations requires well trained and competent investigators. A poor investigation is worse than no investigation at all. Not thoroughly investigating these claims, may lead to increased liability for the employer. Conducting a neutral, well-executed and well-documented investigation may help employers avoid damaging lawsuits.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) helps protect employees against discrimination. If your organization has at least 15 employees or more, you are covered under EEOC protections. Charges may be filed against organizations for discrimination in all areas of employment including the hiring process, consideration for promotions, wages, benefits and terminations. Discrimination can occur in many areas that are legally protected provisions by the EEOC including age (ADEA), gender, sexual orientation (Title 7), race, disability (ADA), pregnancy (PDA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), etc.
When a charge is filed and the organization has been formally notified, it may choose to resolve a charge either through mediation or settlement. The investigation and resolution process may include any or all of the following:
- A written Statement of Position in which the organization shares its view of the situation
- On-site visits
- Personnel policies and records review
- Witness interviews
In order to protect attorney client privilege, JER HR Group cooperates with the EEOC and attorneys to investigate, for our clients, claims of workplace discrimination. We have a team of highly qualified professionals to skillfully investigate these types of situations to conclusion. We can also help you achieve the skills necessary to conduct a thorough internal investigation. Our professionals understand the sensitive nature of investigations and the need to act promptly to achieve resolution early to prevent lawsuits. We can help you identify best practices for internal investigations and provide training to help prevent the occurrence of illegal or unethical behavior.