It’s difficult to image criminal activity happening within the workplace. However, incidents do happen that require a workplace investigation by HR to determine what happened, who was at fault, and how reparations can be made. If you find yourself involved in a workplace investigation, here are some simple things to remember to get through the process as painlessly as possible.
What to Do if You’re Involved in a Workplace Investigation
Do: Know Your Rights
Corporate law is a tangled mess of separate rights that have very little to do with our unalienable rights. If you’re involved in a workplace investigation, you may not have the same constitutional rights that you do outside of work. It’s important that you understand your company’s rules regarding investigations. Familiarize yourself with the employee handbook, and consider getting legal advice, even if you aren’t directly involved in the investigation.
Don’t: Sign Anything without Reading Carefully and Taking Time to Think
Let’s imagine a worst-case scenario in which you report your boss for inappropriate activity and are asked to come to HR the next day. What do you do if you walk into the office and HR asks you to sign a statement? We recommend asking if you can take the statement or offer with you to read at your leisure at home. Don’t sign anything that’s been put in front of you during a workplace investigation until you’ve had a chance to carefully read and evaluate the document.
Do: Be Prepared
Unless you work for the government, you have to participate in an investigation if asked. If this happens, be prepared to tell what you know, whether you were involved or just a bystander. If you know you have witnesses that can support your case, or if you have some proof that works for you in the investigation, bring it to the meeting and present it promptly. Don’t wait for something to be uncovered before you share information. Prepare yourself for the worst so that you can be ready for whatever comes.