When an employee makes a complaint, the employer is obligated to take adequate measures to stop the alleged conflict and make sure nothing of that sort happens in the workplace again. Laws like the ADA, ADEA, and OSHA protect employees from various types of discrimination in the workplace. Therefore, employers are legally obligated to take appropriate action.
There are certain steps an employer should take to ensure an effective investigation and resolve internal problems before they become widespread. If the employer fails to take these measures, you may have no other option but to seek legal help from Connecticut employment lawyers.
Steps the employer should take after you file a workplace complaint
- Make sure the matter remains confidential.
First of all, you must protect the employee who has filed the complaint by maintaining the matter’s confidentiality. However, some information may not remain confidential during the course of an investigation. This is because an effective investigation includes interviews. Therefore, information is to be confidential to a possible extent. In simple words, the information should only be revealed on a “need to know” basis.
- Protecting the accuser.
The alleged accused may harass or retaliate against the person who has filed the complaint. This is also one of the biggest reasons why cases of Connecticut discrimination in the workplace go unreported. Therefore, HR must ensure the alleged victim’s protection by taking appropriate measures. Actions such as changing their schedules, transferring to a different office location, etc., may be needed.
- Selecting an investigator.
Selecting the investigator is one of the most crucial steps. Your employer must choose someone with the following characteristics.
- No stake in the outcome.
- Attention to detail.
- Prior experience, training, and skills in the field.
- Interpersonal skills to appear neutral and fair to both parties.
In addition to these, the investigator must also protect the confidentiality of the matter as much as possible for the same reasons. Your employer may choose from the HR staff, internal security, third-party investigators, or a team approach.
- Planning the investigation.
The employer should work with the investigator or the investigation team to create an effective plan and ensure it is properly executed. Creating a plan may include the following.
- Outlining the issue
- Developing a witness list
- List of sources for information
- List of witnesses
- Interview questions to be asked
The employer can also refer to EEOC guidelines to get help on specific topics, such as discrimination and sexual harassment.
- Create a summary of the investigation.
Once the interviews and other parts of the investigation are over, your employer must create a summary report of it. There should be a clear record of everything done, findings of new evidence, and any crucial answers given in the interviews. The report should contain all the factual information with proper dates.