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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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