Responding to Allegations of Work Place Misconduct
It is imperative that you respond to any employee allegation in a prompt, effective, and just manner. The first step in addressing an employee allegation is to conduct an internal investigation. It is very important that this investigation is thorough, complete, and if necessary that the punishment fits the crime. Six reasons to conduct an adequate and thorough investigation are: to save money in the long run, save employee time and effort, save outside costs, avoid bad publicity (employees talk), protection from lawsuits, and reveals “me too” and “they too” situations. Please be sure that the person you choose to lead in the investigation is unbiased and has no relation to the accused or the accuser. The investigator needs to document everything (a tape recorder is recommended if available) that is said by the accuser, the accused, and any witnesses that may be available. The Investigator should try and determine the who, what, when, and where of the allegation. Once the investigation is complete, you should review the records and determine if any corrective action needs to be taken. If corrective action is necessary, make sure the punishment is adequate to stop the conduct from happening again. Termination should be considered in extreme cases. If an unfortunate situation like this arises, please contact ELM and we will provide any support that is deemed necessary.