Inaccordance with Reisman(2016)internalinvestigations in a workplace is conducted only when there isreliable information there may have been noteworthy ethical lapses orwrongdoing in a work environment. Investigation in a place of workmay also take place where there may not have been specificallegations against a particular employee, but there has been anallegation about others in the same department. In such a scenarioinvestigations are carried out to exclude the alleged wrongdoers andthe innocent employees. Hanley& O`Rourke (2016),record that an efficient investigation process works for theinterests of the company and the shareholders in various ways.Firstly, an investigation aims at preventing and perceiving ethicallapses within an organization. Secondly, an investigation ensuresthat corporate activities of the organization are in line with theapplicable laws and regulations. Finally, an effective investigationshould identify an area of weakness that can be improved internally.In a nutshell, investigations are not only carried out to uncoverfacts about a reported ethical lapse but it should credibly give anaccount of the happenings with respect to a given incident it shouldbe thorough, analytical and independent.
Evidently,there is an issue that needs to be addressed from the information inthe case study of Ellen and Tammy. If the claims are found to betrue, then various laws have breached. One is Ellen`s rights havebeen violated as she has been sexually harassed. Also, Tammy may havegone against the institutional laws and ethics in regard torespecting other employees and viewing them as colleagues and notobjects of sex.
Accordingto the human resource standards, it is of much necessity to inform myimmediate superior of the case and let them know that I intend toinvestigate the matter so as to come to the root of the issue. Thiswould enhance a smooth operation in regard to the investigation incase there would be any need for investigations or interim relief forone or both of the involved parties.
Itis important to note that such an issue is imperative as it is amatter that involves sexual abuse which is a problem in the globalbusiness world. Before, starting on the process of an investigationit is important to let know the immediate senior in the chain ofcommand. Then letting know the parties that the issue has beenreceived by the employee relations representatives office and lettingthem know that the office will carry out a just process as it ismandated to protect both the employees and no one is guilty untilthere is prove beyond reasonable doubt.
Ininvestigating Ellen and Tammy case, I would follow the stepsdiscussed below. Lytle,2015,records that the occurrence of a conflict in a workplace is notdangerous but ignoring the conflict could is. Firstly, I woulddetermine whether an investigation would be necessary based on thematter reported and the details availed to me. In this case, theallegations are grave, and from the communication from Ellen then aninvestigation would be necessary. Secondly, one should determinewhether the investigation could be successful while both partieswould be still working or their presence would distract the inquiry,therefore, necessitating interim relief for either or both of theparties. In this case study, it would be necessary that Timmy takessome forced leave so that they do not interrupt the investigation andfor psychological comfort of Ellen. The next step would bedetermining whether I am the one to handle the investigation or thereis a need for another person to help me. In the said case I wouldhandle the case. The fourth step would o=be obtaining any documentsrelevant information about the case. I would ask Ellen if there wereany witnesses if they are there then I organize for interviews withthe witnesses. At this step, I would also request for officesurveillance tapes that may have captured some of the allegedactions. I would also request Ellen of any other evidence that wouldprove her case that may include text messages or emails from Timmy.That would warn other employees with the same unethical conduct.
Reviewingof the materials would be the next step. The reviewing wouldaccurately be evaluating potential legal issues that may be arisingfrom the complaint and the available evidence. I would then preparean investigation report that would document the facts gathered fromthe interviews and the materials availed by Ellen. The next stepwould be informed by the documented evidence, and that would betaking the appropriate action. If Timmy would be found guilty thenretrenching him would be one of the solutions to the problem. Thefinal step is doing follow up. That is informing other employees thatthe complaint was investigated and the company made the decision totake a particular action on the one found guilty.
Hanley,G. M., & O`Rourke, A. (2016). The race without a finishing line:legislative means for confronting bullying in the Australianworkplace. Asia Pacific Journal Of Human Resources, 54(3),352-368. doi:10.1111/1744-7941.12093
Lytle,T. (2015) . (cover story). HR Magazine,60(6), 26.
Reisman,J. (2016). How to investigate workplace misconduct & avoid the hpsyndrome. Supervision, 77(2), 10.
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