Investigate Employee Complaints to Avoid Liability for Employee Wrong-doing
Investigate Employee Complaints to Avoid Liability for Employee Wrong-doing

Investigate Employee Complaints to Avoid Liability for Employee Wrong-doing

From the HR Pros of the HR Support Center

In the workplace, there may be employee complaints regarding harassment, fraud, theft, discrimination and other misconduct. When complaints are not handled appropriately, the company may experience increased exposure to employment-related liability. In the long run, there may also be financial loss, damages and penalties issued (from regulating agencies). Every employer should take the initiative to investigate employee complaints to ensure a non-discriminatory and safe working environment.

There are four key benefits in having an investigation procedure or policy in place:

# Employers that take the time to determine if “misconduct” did occur can pinpoint if there was a violation of governing regulations and/or company policy. If so, the employer can prepare documentation in the form of evidence in case a lawsuit is filed.
# In investigations, employers tend to engage in mini-audits to see if policies and procedures were equitably and lawfully enforced. This helps businesses assess their vulnerabilities within specific policies and determine how violations are or should be handled.
# When employers encourage open communication and create an environment that allows for employee feedback or complaints, they improve the process of internal reporting by saving time (and bringing a faster end to misconduct), versus having external agencies involved, which can consume time and money. This practice also enhances the employer’s reputation for being cooperative with the parties involved versus looking unfavorable in the eyes of others.
# Employee feedback and complaints allow for managers to foster an environment that allows for growth and awareness of weaknesses to be improved. When employers take the time to investigate employee complaints, they can determine which training topics need to be available for workplace engagement purposes. For example, if previous lawsuits or complaints involved safety issues, a workshop or training session about safety hazards may be initiated.

To understand and prevent employee complaints, consider:
* Instituting an “Open Door” policy
* Having a useful internal investigation procedure or policy in place
* Ensuring complaints are thoroughly, carefully and fairly investigated
* To understand the investigation process steps, there is a “Workplace Investigations Guide” available in the HR Support Center

Often employers brush off employee issues and complaints as insignificant and do not realize doing so may cost them in the long run, especially if a regulatory agency becomes involved. Employee relations, including complaint investigations, are critical for driving business success, maintaining equitable and compliant workplaces and building successful working relationships.

Want more helpful answers to your HR questions?

Subscribe to Paycor’s HR Support Center and find more HR resources and guides. Or, upgrade to HR On Demand to get personalized answers and advice from an HR professional. Contact us to learn more.

More to Discover

BUILD Web Summit - Build a Remote Workplace

BUILD Web Summit - Build a Remote Workplace

Remote employees are more common than ever before. Employing a remote workforce can retain top talent, reduce expenses, and boost engagement for your organization. Learn best practices for creating HR policies, training and engaging your remote employees, and supporting leaders. We will explore new trends of today’s remote workforce. Speaker: Sarah Laboranti Sarah Laboranti is a motivated HR professional with over nineteen years of experience. She is passionate about bringing new ideas to the workforce and leveraging HR’s important role in the organization. She has an upbeat attitude toward the role of Human Resources, in which HR is empowered to “do the right thing” for employees, leaders, the business, and the community.

Why HR & People Practices Struggle to Get C-Suite Support - Part 3

Why HR & People Practices Struggle to Get C-Suite Support - Part 3

It can be frustrating and demoralizing to present your ideas and initiatives to the C-Suite, only to have them relegated to the back burner. Without the resources and support to contribute in a more strategic and future-focused way, HR professionals are limited to focusing primarily on short-term issues. In this webinar, we'll diagnose any pitfalls or bad habits that are holding you back from getting buy in for the C-Suite. Speaker: Deb Calvert Deb Calvert is the president of People First Productivity Solutions where she works with HR and sales team to build organizational strength by putting people first. She is the co-author of “Stop Selling & Start Leading” and author of “DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected” (named one of The Top...

Why HR & People Practices Struggle to get C-Suite Support - Part 2

Why HR & People Practices Struggle to get C-Suite Support - Part 2

It can be frustrating and demoralizing to present your ideas and initiatives to the C-Suite, only to have them relegated to the back burner. Without the resources and support to contribute in a more strategic and future-focused way, HR professionals are limited to focusing primarily on short-term issues. In this webinar, we'll diagnose any pitfalls or bad habits that are holding you back from getting buy in for the C-Suite. Speaker: Deb Calvert Deb Calvert is the president of People First Productivity Solutions where she works with HR and sales team to build organizational strength by putting people first. She is the co-author of “Stop Selling & Start Leading” and author of “DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected” (named one of The Top...

Why HR & People Practices Struggle to get C-Suite Support - Part 1

Why HR & People Practices Struggle to get C-Suite Support - Part 1

It can be frustrating and demoralizing to present your ideas and initiatives to the C-Suite, only to have them relegated to the back burner. Without the resources and support to contribute in a more strategic and future-focused way, HR professionals are limited to focusing primarily on short-term issues. In this webinar, we'll diagnose any pitfalls or bad habits that are holding you back from getting buy in for the C-Suite. Speaker: Deb Calvert Deb Calvert is the president of People First Productivity Solutions where she works with HR and sales team to build organizational strength by putting people first. She is the co-author of “Stop Selling & Start Leading” and author of “DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected” (named one of The Top...