Under California law, employers have a duty to investigate misconduct and take remedial action to prevent further discrimination or harassment from occurring in the workplace.
Five action items employers should utilize when conducting workplace investigations:
1. Selecting the investigator : The person needs to be able to conduct appropriate investigations to limit the liability to the company
2. The investigation must be free of any appearance of influence or bias :The investigator must not have any personal involvement with any of the parties who are a part of the investigation
3. The investigation must ask the right questions: Employers must remember that they have a duty to investigate various types of mis-conduct in the workplace, not only claims of sexual harassment
4. The investigator must make credibility assessments: The EEOC again provides some guidance on the factors to use when determining which witnesses are more credible:
5. The investigation’s final determination and continual monitoring: It is important for employers to inform the parties involved of the outcome, unacceptable behavior as a result of the determination, and to ensure ongoing compliance with the company’s findings and legal obligations.
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