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Stick to the Facts - Know the Value of Third-Party Workplace Investigations
November 3, 2020
Avoid Bias and Protect Your Company with Workplace Investigations
Businesses continue to experience plenty of workplace complaints, even in the midst of a pandemic. Workplace complaints related to harassment and misconduct have increased despite much of the workforce becoming remote. As the number of complaints increases, some companies might be feeling the push to save money and address these complaints on their own without hiring a third-party.
The truth is that companies that choose to conduct investigations internally could face legal issues if they don't retain the services of an outside firm. Firms that specialize in third-party investigations are well-versed in protecting a company’s personnel and assets, including managers, should the company face legal action.
Internal Workplace Investigations Come with Immediate Disadvantages
When a company decides that a workplace investigation is necessary, many employees become potential witnesses to the complaint. Some businesses might consider letting their HR manager conduct a workplace investigation since they handle many challenging issues, including discipline and dismissals.
However, for many companies, an HR manager might be close to some of the employees involved, making it impossible to complete an investigation without any bias. This is especially problematic in small companies, as staff may have worked together for a long time.
For example, if an employee claims they were harassed at a company function, and the company’s HR manager was in attendance, they could be considered a witness. Even if they didn’t physically see the incident, they could still be a potential witness. This creates endless problems as a company has a legal obligation to protect their employees and remain impartial during any investigation.
A Third-Party Workplace Investigation is the Only Way to Remain Unbiased
Workplace investigators can gather facts quickly, interview witnesses, and allow a company to act swiftly by being prepared with plain facts documented with written notes and videos.
A third-party also has a clear advantage over any internal HR rep. Without any prior relationship to the parties involved, they have no bias and maintain strict privacy protocols that keep sensitive information out of the hands of other employees in the office. Investigators are highly trained on these types of complaints, can document every step of the process, and provide facts and guidance that can save time and money should the complaint escalate towards legal action.
Have a Proper Defense Well Before You Need One
Having a separate agency complete the process helps protect the company and its owners. It demonstrates that leadership went to great lengths to complete their due diligence.
The use of a third-party also emphasizes that the investigation of a complaint was completed without any bias or unfairness. Potential legal action against a company could include allegations of mistreatment, discrimination, or special treatment, and a third-party investigation is an integral defence against such a lawsuit. If a complaint results in a lawsuit or criminal charges, a company will likely have to prove that they performed their due diligence to protect its employees and provide a safe workplace.
Trust the Specialists at AFIMAC with Workplace Investigations.
AFIMAC corporate investigators can be called upon to gather facts and get to the bottom of a workplace complaint. Investigators are experienced in these matters, can collect evidence, and provide unbiased information to an employer that can help them make the right call once an investigation has concluded. Further, they can also help a company develop procedures that can respond to such complaints, and further protect the company from legal action should a complaint occur in the future.
AFIMAC services are wide-ranging in nature and tailored to the individual employer. We’re happy to investigate the inner workings of a corporation, identify potential problems, and advise leadership on the best course of action.
Contact us directly to learn more about available services.