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Workplace detective: 10 investigation mistakes to avoid

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by David M. Ferrara and Alyssa Campbell, Esqs., Bond Schoeneck & King, Syracuse

workplace investigationConducting workplace investigations is one of the most challenging and most important duties that HR professionals must take on. How you respond to complaints about harassment or other misconduct can have huge legal and practical implications for your organization.

Here are the 10 most common workplace investigation mistakes:

1. Ignoring complaints

Failing to take action on a complaint is one of the biggest mistakes employers can make. Choosing not to conduct an investigation after learning of allegedly inappropriate conduct may result in the company being legally responsible for harm caused to any employee, client or others due to the inappropriate conduct. Investigate regardless of how frivolous or unfounded the complaint appears, or who complained.

Note: Just because a complaint is anonymous does not excuse failure to investigate.

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Tom October 16, 2016 at 10:49 am

What about signing statements from complainant there is no mentioning the complainants statement to charge off from and be given a copy that will prove HR was BIAS and compromise the investigation wouldn’t it be a Victor for the complainant if he would record asking a copy of the statement which was gathered on bullying grounds or discriminatory conduct of supervisor on a employee ….if a employee asks for a copy of his statement complaint and its not given or sign conformation say on the hardware they are complaining wouldn’t that show investigator is one sided and when the investigation is done on accused isn’t a copy given for the accused …I beleive if no copy of sign statement on either or one side is a defined as proof of a BIAS HR .. And you can sue and win on a retaliation on your complaint people are to dumb to realize that of HR doing this keep in mind it is impairative for you to get a copy if you complain on the SUPERVISOR if you record the conversation and HR says will give you documentation to sign afterwards they just lost credibility and a judge will give you a win for that proof use a audio record er on cell the law in Canada says you can as long it’s you and someone else talking you can’t record a couple in a office talking if your not involved in conversation …just do it

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