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How to investigate workplace discrimination

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | Employment Law For Employers |

Workplace discrimination creates a toxic environment for all. When employees directly suffer its ravages, such behavior can affect their on-the-job performance and mental health.

When allegations of discriminatory conflicts arise, employers are responsible for performing a thorough and fair investigation.

Review the complaint

The first step is gathering all relevant information. This requires speaking directly with the person behind the charge and understanding the nature of the objection. By the end of the conversation, there should be a file with every detail concerning the matter. One must approach this conversation with sensitivity and confidentiality.

Notify relevant parties

The next step is informing everyone to whom the matter pertains. Human resources must tell each person about the forthcoming investigation and avoid making judgments or assumptions.

Collect evidence

Those in charge are to gather proof, including emails, text messages and any other relevant documents. This will help put the situation into perspective and clarify whether the assertions have merit.

Interview witnesses

Coworkers can provide additional perspectives. When conducting interviews, the interviewer should ask questions that allow subjects to share their observations and experiences.

Review the data

Here begins the analysis part of the process. This stage requires comparing the facts of the situation to workplace policies and any applicable standards of conduct. Everyone part of the inquiry should have an opportunity to speak up and influence the final determination.

Take appropriate action

Once a conclusion is set, the company must address the situation. Decisions may involve sensitivity training, mediation or changes to workplace policies. All initiatives should be reasonable and commensurate with the investigation’s findings.

When accusations of discriminatory behavior arise, businesses are duty-bound to address them. Punishing those who engage in unacceptable conduct helps create a workplace environment that is both respectful and inclusive.