What's Next When Staff Refuse to
Participate in an Employee Investigation?

Employee investigations illustrated by a magnifying glass over legal papers.

Employee Investigation: Refusal To Participate In Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigations play an important role in ensuring that HR complaints including claims of harassment are properly addressed by the employer. In the ideal situation, every employee is willing to provide honest responses to questions from HR investigators. The truth is, however, that employees have a right to refuse to participate in a formal workplace investigation. This complicates the nature of any kind of job site investigation, leaving gaps in complaints and leaving employers to fill in the blanks.

Employee investigations can be complicated or delayed when one party refuses to participate. When this occurs, it should never stop an employer from finishing the job. Click now to learn more.

There are options for employers, as many qualified private investigation companies can do the heavy lifting of collecting evidence on an employer’s behalf. Find and gather evidence that either supports or refutes HR complaints, even if staff refuse to participate in an investigation alongside the investigation specialists at AFIMAC Global.

Employee investigation services illustrated by a corporate boardroom with executives.

Is Refusal To Participate in An Employee Investigation Grounds for Termination?

The nature of a formal workplace investigation can vary between state and province, but must ultimately be rooted in fairness, free from any sort of bias. Every staff member must be treated fairly and afforded the opportunity to provide their version of the events that have occurred. The interview process should be consistent, with no preferential treatment offered to one party over the other. The results from a workplace investigation could be later used to defend the company from litigation and must be capable of withstanding legal challenges, most notably from wrongful termination claims. 

Your staff has the legal right to refuse to take part in a formal workplace investigation, but that does not mean they are free from the consequences. Employers could view a refusal to participate in a workplace investigation as grounds for termination. In other cases, some staff may look to delay the process of a workplace investigation or make demands from investigators, including having the ability to formally write out their responses to questions. Giving preferential treatment to one party could void the results of an investigation entirely, and employers place themselves in a precarious situation when conducting an HR investigation themselves.

Employee Investigations Free From Bias and Rooted in Fairness

When staff is presented with the opportunity to partake in a workplace investigation, they may react with hesitancy or request to speak with a lawyer. Since a workplace investigation is being conducted by the corporate entity, the employer has no obligation to provide any legal services to the staff member. Staff do not have the same legal rights in an HR investigation as compared to a criminal investigation, where legal counsel is provided. 

Employees do have a right to consult with their independent legal counsel before the investigation itself. Allowing one party to have a lawyer present for the investigation could, however, compromise the fairness of the investigation itself. While these investigations are delicate matters, the focus remains on gathering evidence most fairly and reasonably possible.

Pushing Onwards After Refusal To Participate in an Employee Investigation

If an employee simply refuses to participate in a workplace investigation, they still must be provided with the opportunity to participate. Independent investigators carefully document the many times they have requested the participation of the individual who has refused to take part, even giving them reasonable time frames to respond. Whether a non-complaint party is delaying the process or is attempting to make the investigation more difficult to complete, the employer must still proceed without their participation.

Failing to properly investigate and respond to serious HR complaints places employers in a precarious legal situation that could come back to haunt them at a later date. Private investigation companies can navigate the many hurdles that come with a workplace investigation including, ensuring that every detail is covered and the results are free from bias and preferential treatment. When an employer leaves the complexities of a workplace investigation to an independent third party, they will likely be surprised as to what can be uncovered.

Learn About AFIMAC Workplace Investigation Services, Click Now

Employee Investigation Services By AFIMAC Global

Evidence gathering during an HR investigation conducted by AFIMAC goes far beyond in-person interviews and includes the gathering of digital evidence as well. By gathering internal communications, surveillance footage, email correspondence, and even information on public social media forums, employers can put together the most complete picture possible of what has occurred on the job site. Even when certain staff members refuse to participate in an investigation, AFIMAC can fill in the gaps with incredibly detailed investigation techniques that are simply unavailable to internal HR staff.

Ensure that your workplace investigation is conducted properly the first time with AFIMAC. Navigate hurdles alongside the specialists in this field and ensure that the information gathered used to support key business decisions is conducted fairly or any sort of bias. Third-party HR investigations are one of the simplest ways for employers to avoid conflicts of interest entirely. 

AFIMAC brings investigators to your job site, anywhere in North America. Ensure your HR practices are sound and precise, and lean on AFIMAC to conduct investigations that can withstand litigation and ultimately protect your business. Fill out the form below to begin the process today, contact us now.  

Scroll Through and Click To Learn More About The Private Investigation Offerings of AFIMAC Global

Print Friendly, PDF & Email