“We have recently received several sexual harassment complaints about one of our front-line supervisors. We want our staff to know that such complaints are taken seriously and want to bring in a neutral third party to conduct an investigation.”
“There has been a series of safety violations involving the physical tampering of equipment. Employees are hesitant to talk, it seems, due to concerns that their statements could be used against them in the future. We have an obligation to protect the safety of our employees, but are having trouble resolving the issue.”
Where employers have reason to believe that some workers may be engaging in discriminatory, unsafe or culpable conduct, conducting an investigation to determine what has occurred and who is responsible may be necessary. Such investigations are often more pressing where there are allegations of workplace violence or harassment; alcohol or drug consumption or abuse; theft, sabotage or vandalism; health and safety violations; or discrimination.
Because of the sensitivities of such issues and the strong emotions that are commonly involved, it is prudent to enlist the services of an objective third party investigator to inquire into the legitimacy of the complaints as well as the nature and scope of any underlying issues.
Our lawyers are routinely enlisted to conduct such workplace investigations. We are well aware of the additional, and sometimes conflicting, considerations that can and do arise. These include: