When properly conducted, investigations will minimize the risk and liability of an employer, while simultaneously creating a work environment where employees feel confident that legitimate concerns will be thoroughly investigated and addressed.
Employers and employees are often overwhelmed by the requirements of an administrative investigation (misconduct, harassment, discrimination, workplace violence, prohibited personnel practices, whistleblowing claims, etc.). It is very rare that the investigative process goes as planned, instead the investigator(s) may uncover additional administrative and/or criminal violations which further complicate an already complicated process for co-workers turned investigators.
Even before an investigation is initiated, there are key questions (Will the investigator have experience conducting this particular type of investigation? Will the investigator be seen as a neutral third party such as a judge? What should be the primary focus of the investigation? Which allegation(s) should be referred to others for jurisdictional authority?, etc.) that must be addressed. The answers to these and other questions will not only affect the quality and outcome of the investigation, but they will also inevitably determine an employer’s liability.
As experienced investigators, DCC consultants know what questions to ask; how to ask questions; and how to elicit pertinent information from witnesses. Moreover, our consultants can gauge the veracity of each witness without imparting the emotional feelings (good and/or bad) that an untrained co-worker brings to an investigation.
DCC consultants will complete a more thorough investigation than an untrained co-worker and DCC’s investigations are accompanied with findings, recommendations and appropriate follow-up engagement. If an untrained co-worker conducts the investigation, they will have to momentarily cease performing the duties in which they were hired to perform and will lack the knowledge and resources to apply their findings to applicable policies, procedures and laws. The expense and liability associated with having an untrained co-worker conduct an investigation is almost never worth the risk. Make the wise investment; contact DCC to conduct all of your administrative investigations.
DCC consultants can also assist your organization with addressing complaints that are filed with external agencies, such as EEOC. If not handled by an expert, these complaints can be very costly, distracting, demoralizing and time-consuming for your organization. Responding to inquiries from outside agencies is normally a major effort and full of legal landmines when processed by employees who are not familiar with the protocols of these investigations.