Even with all the policies and procedures in place to protect yourself and your employees against discrimination, complaints can still happen. Sometimes they’re justified and other times they aren’t. Either way, they always need proper investigation.
This means carrying out a full investigation when an employee raises a complaint with you about discrimination. If you’re not sure exactly what you need to do in order to carry out your inquiries impartially and effectively, below are some steps to help when handling a complaint.
Take everyone’s account of what happened
Taking witness statements will be one of the most important things you do.
It’s essential to get as many witness accounts as possible of the event in question, starting with the employee who raised the complaint. After you have this information, you should then move on to getting the accused’s account.
Be sure to take as many notes as possible throughout and have each person sign a witness statement, if possible, to say they agree with the contents.
Keep a written record of everything
In the event that an employee takes legal action against the company, you’ll need as much evidence as possible of your investigation. This means keeping a note of everything you did throughout the process.
Resist the urge to retaliate
Employees need to feel comfortable that they can come to you without fear of retaliation or reprisal.
The best way to achieve this is by treating everyone involved with the same level of respect and courtesy. Keep an open mind and try not to make any judgments or decisions until you’ve completed your investigation in full.
It can be emotionally difficult to handle employee complaints, and it can also be incredibly time-consuming – especially if you find yourself in a position where you’re facing litigation. Having assistance with the process can make sure you’re protected legally.