An internal investigation is an important mechanism an organization can use to address an allegation of wrongdoing, determine legal liability, identify individuals or parties with culpability, comply with regulatory requirements, develop corrective measures and enhance operational efficiencies. Buckner is pleased to continue its blog series highlighting best practices, strategies and techniques that can be used by organizational leaders and counsel during an internal investigation. Today’s post will highlight the great pointers from attorney Susan Bickley’s July 31, 2013, presentation (Employee Investigations: “Best Practices”) regarding responding to instances when an employee does not want an organization to conduct an investigation:
- The “general rule is to investigate” since “a legal duty likely arises from notice in most cases” and “other employees may be subjected to same behavior”.
- Although “not advised”, if an organization agrees not to investigate, it is advisable that “more than one witness should hear/document this was complainant’s request and why decision made.”
- Always advise employee of the organization’s policy against allowing retaliation and “to report if problem continues”.
- Finally, do not promise the employee “absolute confidentiality”.
Contact attorney Michael L. Buckner (+1-954-941-1844; firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional information on conducting internal investigations and intelligence-gathering.