The Basics Of Workplace Investigations

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July 08, 2022

Workplace investigations can seriously affect an employee’s legal rights. The outcome of an investigation can lead to continued employment violations, a hostile work environment, or even unlawful retaliation against an employee. The best way to protect yourself is to hire a San Francisco employment attorney as soon as possible.

When Investigations Are Required

The law requires an investigation to be conducted after any report of certain unlawful employment practices. Employers must investigate complaints of sexual harassment, age discrimination, minimum wage disputes, and other unlawful employment practices. Of course, many employers investigate every complaint that is filed. Complaints about scheduling, customers, uniforms, and interpersonal matters between employees are usually investigated by an employer even when the law does not require it. This is why companies pay to run expensive HR and legal departments. 

These departments are tasked with investigating complaints that could expose the company to liability. It is important to remember that the company’s investigation is designed to protect its own legal interests – not an employee’s. 

Why Investigations Are Biased Toward the Employer

Internal workplace investigations are conducted by the employer to determine its own liability. As a result, these investigations tend to be biased toward the employer. The best outcome for the employer is to find that there were no violations of any employee’s legal rights. There is no incentive for the investigators to “keep digging” in order to find the truth. They may not be inclined to explore evidence that proves a violation or evidence that contradicts the employer’s position. This bias makes it very difficult for an employee to get a fair hearing in a workplace investigation. As an employee, you need someone on your side to advocate for your legal rights.

How To Protect Your Rights After Filing a Complaint

The best way for any employee to protect their legal rights during a workplace investigation is to hire their own attorney. Every employee in the company (including its lawyers) is being paid to protect the company. You need an employment attorney who is on your side. Your lawyer’s job is to protect your legal rights – not the company’s. Your attorney can advocate for you during the investigation process. If you have filed a complaint, your attorney can help gather the evidence that proves your claims. 

Experienced, Aggressive Employment Lawyers To Protect Employees’ Legal Rights During Workplace Investigations

The experienced employment lawyers at Olivier & Schreiber LLP are here to protect your legal rights at all stages of a workplace investigation. Call (415) 484-0980 or visit our website to schedule your consultation today.




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