Investigating Employee Complaints: Be Ready to Respond Objectively, Thoroughly and Quickly
|If your employees don't complain, you aren't just lucky – you're probably doing business in an alternative universe. It's inevitable that every organization will need to evaluate the merits of a complaint based upon facts that they don't have at their finger tips. That means that an investigation will need to occur before a well-informed decision can be made. Speed, thoroughness, and objectivity are all important in getting to the truth — and that matters from both a business and a legal perspective. The good investigator balances the need for speed against the need to get it done right. Not so easy. Some organizations automatically turn to consultants or lawyers to conduct an investigation. From an experience, objectivity and magnitude-of-problem standpoint, it may be wise but it also can be costly. Increasingly, prudent organizations are training internal investigators to be ready to respond.
- Collect and document relevant evidence.
- Avoid retaliation charges — the fastest growing area of employment litigation.
- Explore employee privacy issues.
- Create policies and procedures to make investigations bullet-proof.
- Identify when it makes sense to bring in an outside investigator.
- Utilize relevant questions: who, what, when, and where and of whom.
- Demonstrate good decisions that will hold up in the event that the investigation is challenged.
|Jodie-Beth Galos, Esq. SPHR|
Jodie-Beth assists organizations avoid legal liability and build productivity by removing performance barriers through her human resource risk management practice, Galos & Associates, LLC
Jodie-Beth is a successful attorney, business woman and one of the nation's most popular and in-demand speakers on proactive employment law compliance through effective communications.
Prior to opening her own public speaking and consulting practice, she worked in large organizations including Associate Attorney with Jackson Lewis, Director of Employee Relations at Saks Fifth Avenue, Vice President at United Healthcare and Senior Vice President at Smith Barney.
Ms. Galos authored Firing Back: Power Strategies for Cutting the Best Deal When You're About to Lose Your Job. She is regularly featured on financial and business television, internet programs and professional journals and periodicals.
Jodie-Beth Galos has disclosed no relevant, real or apparent personal or professional financial relationships.
Requirements for Completion | Statement of Completion | CE Contact Hours | Disclosures