When allegations of misconduct in the workplace are made by an employee or potential legal issues have been brought to light in your organization, it is advisable to conduct an internal investigation to uncover the truth of the matter and take appropriate steps to address the results. Enlisting outside council from an experienced team of employment lawyers can ensure the accuracy and thoroughness of your investigation. Perhaps a complaint has been made with Human Resources or there are rumblings about discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, or retaliation in the workplace.
Allegations by an employee about misconduct in the workplace always need to be taken seriously. In many cases, an initial allegation can spiral into significant legal trouble, costly time spent in litigation, and a stained reputation that your company may never recover from. Internal investigations have been increasingly common in recent years, as the current work environment demands employers, supervisors, and company standards that are simply beyond reproach. In addition, state and federal laws strictly prohibit many forms of workplace misconduct, including:
• Employee Harassment
• Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
• Harassing or Intimidating Workers
• Discriminating Against Employees who fall into protected classes
• Creating a Hostile Work Environment; and
• Any other form of misconduct that violates employee rights
When allegations of this kind arise in your company, conducting workplace investigation is often the most effective way to avoid litigation. In many cases, hearing an employee’s complaints, conducting an internal investigation, and addressing any valid concerns that are revealed during this time will provide an employee with the necessary satisfaction to avoid further issues in the legal system. While some employees still choose to pursue legal action, having an investigation conducted by an independent organization can often bolster your case in court. Demonstrating your initiative and willingness to address workplace misconduct can provide much needed support for your defense against an employment claim.
An internal investigation can also play a vital role when dealing with a pending state or federal investigation. If you can preemptively conduct an investigation in your work setting and disclose the results to an interested government agency, you may be able to prevent further damage to your company’s reputation on the public stage. As a general rule, knowing the good, the bad, and the ugly is the first and best step toward effective remedy where necessary.
If you are dealing with allegations of workplace misconduct in New Jersey, you need to take prompt action in response to claims of discrimination, harassment, unsafe work practices, retaliation, and other claims. Conducting an immediate investigative is imperative, while having an independent third party do so is even more beneficial to demonstrate an unbiased process and objective conclusions.