Employers must investigate perceived discrimination and allegations of criminal activity, even if the initial complaint appears frivolous. Dallas employment lawyer Keith Clouse advises an employee who becomes the target of such an investigation to consider the following advice:
• Consult with an attorney. Workplace investigations are serious and may signal the end of an employer/employee relationship. An attorney may be able to provide guidance during the investigation and/or negotiate a severance agreement.
• Review company policies. An employee under investigation should familiarize himself with any applicable policies and alert his employer if the correct protocol is not followed.
• Cooperate and provide truthful answers. An employee has a duty to cooperate during an investigation; failure to do so could result in discharge. An employee should never deliberately deceive his employer or provide dishonest information.
• Learn about the complaint. An employee should ask for details regarding any allegations.
• Bolster the evidence. An employee should submit to the investigator relevant documents and the names of witnesses who could testify on his behalf.
• Avoid retaliation. An employee under investigation usually learns who filed the initial complaint. The employee should refrain from engaging in any conduct that could be viewed as retaliation against the complainant.
• Ask for the results. An employee should ask to review the investigator’s findings and conclusions.