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How to conduct an internal retaliation claim investigation

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Employment Law

Retaliation claims happen when an employee feels they have faced negative consequences for reporting wrongdoing.

Investigating a retaliation claim within a company is a serious task. It requires careful steps to ensure fairness and thoroughness.

Receive the complaint

To meet the requirements of retaliation and discrimination laws, the company should have a clear process for employees to report retaliation. This can be done through a dedicated email, hotline or an HR representative. Make sure the employee feels safe and understands that the company will take their complaint seriously.

Plan the investigation

Identify who will lead the investigation. This person should be neutral and trained in handling retaliation matters. Create a timeline and list the key points and documents to review. Assign an investigator.

Conduct interviews

Conduct interviews with the employee who made the complaint. Ask them to explain what happened in detail. Take notes and ask follow-up questions to clarify their statements. Next, interview the person accused of retaliation. Finally, interview any witnesses who might have relevant information.

Collect and review evidence

To support or refute the claims, collect emails, messages, performance reviews and any other relevant documents. Look for patterns or inconsistencies in the evidence. Keep all information confidential.

Analyze the information

Compare the employee’s complaint with the accused person’s response and the witnesses’ statements. Look for any corroborating or contradicting details. Is there enough evidence to support the claim of retaliation?

Make a decision and take action

If the investigation finds that retaliation occurred, take appropriate action. This can include disciplinary measures against the accused person. Communicate the investigation and outcome to the employee who made the complaint.

Check in with the employee who made the complaint to see if further issues arise. Monitor the workplace environment to prevent future retaliation.