Every organization must be prepared to conduct fair and impartial investigations into employee complaints and allegations of misconduct at all levels within the company. Employers are responsible for being able to sponsor carefully examine the facts and circumstances surrounding allegations of misconduct and make factual findings that can permit the organization to fairly and accurately determine whether the allegations of misconduct are founded.
Objective and impartial fact-finding is a necessary prerequisite to an employer’s ability to take appropriate and meaningful action. This is true if the allegations involve unlawful conduct such as harassment, discrimination or retaliation, but also when the concerns relate to other kinds of behavior that might violate company policy. Employers can only develop a viable action plan with the sound factual basis that is provided by an impartial investigation. An employer needs to know the merit of any given allegation in order to effectively resolve the underlying issues – which might involve an array of options, including appropriate remedial action or discipline, settlement or mediation, policy changes, etc.