Next to economic downturns, lawsuits are the next worst possible thing a New Jersey-based company can go through. These lawsuits are often brought by employees who feel like your company has wronged them in some manner. No matter if it’s an accusation regarding discrimination or a lack of transparency, the fact is that a lawsuit can really harm a company to the point of closing it down. That is why it is critical that you understand how to handle an HR investigation before one actually happens.
Protect employee information
One of the first mistakes that companies make is disclosing sensitive information about the employee’s report to HR. Although HR, under employment law, does not have to keep the information confidential, it is in your best interest to do so. However, some information may have to be disclosed to get to the bottom of the situation, such as interviewing other employees about the situation. It is critical that you place much of the information on a “need-to-know” basis.
Protecting the victim
Just because you know about a situation does not mean it has been taken care of. During an HR investigation, examiners will look to see if you took the necessary steps to protect the employee after he or she came forward. Not doing so can paint your company in a dark light, even if you did eventually mediate the issue.
Keep communication open to all parties
HR investigations can be long and complex matters; however, attempting to keep information from the parties involved can make things much worse. It is important to share all the facts, no matter how small. Everything from the progress made to the people involved should be presented. Failure to do so is a blatant mishandling of the complaint, and your company would not fare well during an investigation.
There are a number of sensitive areas to making sure you see a positive outcome for your HR investigation. That is why it is recommended to have a legal team at your side that can provide you with sound and effective legal advice.