A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the issues that arise when employer investigations produce false information and/or confessions. Usually, these situations occur because the person conducting the investigation is employing a technique that is not tailored to the work environment or is using a best practice that is outdated due to changes in the law.
As the article highlights, having an improper investigation can lead to a costly civil suit and injure an employer’s reputation and standing within the community. Further, if the employee belongs to a union or other employee organization, an improper investigation can be used against the employer in finding that they did not have just cause to impose any discipline.
Like all policy and HR best practices, investigatory procedures need to be routinely checked and updated to ensure compliance with state and federal law. This will help shield the employer from potential lawsuits by ensuring that the investigation does not violate the employee’s rights or run afoul of any laws meant to protect employees.
Should you need an investigation right away, contact one of our attorneys.