Workplace Investigations

Fair, balanced & thorough findings

One of the most stressful situations an HR professional or business leader will face is responding to a complaint. Complex situations that demand workplace investigations arise in even the healthiest workplace cultures. In fact, almost two-thirds of employees in the U.S. say they have either witnessed or been the victim of workplace discrimination1 — one of the most common investigation triggers. Resolving complaints quickly and fairly is a high-stakes endeavor: Badly handled investigations can lower productivity, tank morale and have financial repercussions (discrimination settlements average $40,0001). Employers Council can guide organizations through all aspects of investigations, helping them arrive at answers and mitigate risks.

Call us now at (800) 884-1328 to speak with an investigator.
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The benefits of outsourcing your workplace investigation

Already stretched thin? External investigators can devote themselves to the task at hand. Impartial, third-party investigators don’t have existing workplace relationships that can make asking tough questions difficult for internal investigators. Outsourcing your investigation needs can also help your organization avoid the appearance of bias and help employees feel confident that their complaints will be taken seriously and handled fairly.

Our Services

  • Identifying Legal Risks

  • Minimizing Future Liability

  • Recommending Policy or Procedural Changes

  • Conflict Mediation and Resolution

  • Internal Workplace Investigation Staff Training

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Workplace investigations services solve complaint challenges

Employers Council can help organizations overcome investigation difficulties, including:

  • Time constraints: When you need to handle a complaint now, Employers Council’s team of investigators are ready to act.
  • Lack of experience: Investigations can be overwhelming, especially for first-timers. Employers Council investigators have decades of combined experience, ensuring steady, comprehensive proceedings.
  • Insubstantial findings: Internal investigations can yield incomplete results due to awkwardness, conflicts of interest and inexperience. Employers Council reports are thorough, well-documented and meticulously reviewed.
We had a very tricky personnel situation. Employers Council gave us step-by-step advice during an internal investigation that allowed us to resolve the problem. Without their advice, I am confident that we would have stumbled as an organization and found ourselves in some pretty hot water.
Ken Sparks, CEO and President of Children's Hope Chest

Why choose Employers Council to investigate?

  • Experienced: Our large team of experienced investigators not only have their individual know-how to draw on, but the shared wealth of the team’s collective knowledge.
  • All-attorney team: Every Employers Council investigator is a licensed attorney in addition to a trained investigator.
  • Detailed reports: Our investigation reports are standardized, carefully reviewed and designed to be useful if the complaint advances to an agency tribunal or court of law.
  • Independent: Our team operates independently from our other legal services teams to protect its objectivity. (Consulting and Enterprise members can access separate legal counsel, if needed.)

Pay-as-you-go for services or get discounted pricing through Membership.

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Employer’s Guide to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy

Help prevent future discrimination complaints by building a workplace where all employees are welcomed, supported and able to contribute at their highest level of performance.

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When & What to Investigate

Not sure if a current situation warrants an investigation? Join Employers Council and gain access to this members-only whitepaper on the legal reasoning behind smart investigation decisions.

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Workplace Investigation FAQs

When is a Workplace Investigation necessary?

Often, employers become aware of the need to investigate through an employee complaint or a report of inappropriate conduct. These complaints can come through formal complaint processes or even informal avenues. Once an employer is aware of an employee allegation or other report of potentially problematic workplace behavior or conflict, that employer should address those allegations or reports. In many cases, an investigation is needed to determine whether the concerns are substantiated, so the employer can take the best possible actions to resolve personnel issues and reduce future employer liability.

What types of allegations should be investigated?

Workplace investigations often focus on EEO/protected class allegations (those involving sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, and others), as these allegations may result in legal liability. Investigations can also be used to look into other types of allegations, including reports of employee conflicts; complaints about conduct that may violate workplace policies; and even potentially criminal allegations of workplace-related violence, theft, and other behaviors.

Who should conduct a workplace investigation?

Employers may choose to do an investigation themselves or to outsource it to a third party. Any investigator you use should be trained, experienced, discreet, thorough and impartial. Although handling an investigation internally is one option, it may present some challenges. If one party is at the manager or executive level, or if the organization is small, handling the investigation internally may lead to later claims of bias or conflict of interest. In those cases, or in cases where no one internally has sufficient experience or training to conduct an investigation, outsourcing it is a good idea.

If I choose to outsource an investigation, why choose Employers Council?

All Employers Council investigators are attorneys trained in investigation technique, strategy and analysis. Using Employers Council to conduct your investigation ensures that you have a trained, neutral investigator and a well-drafted, thorough report to support any subsequent decisions. Additionally, Employers Council Consulting and Enterprise members may obtain legal advice regarding workplace management and next steps during and after an investigation from an Employers Council attorney.

How long will an Employers Council investigation take, and how much will it cost?

Employers Council investigations are billed on an hourly rate, rather than a flat fee. Investigations come in many shapes and sizes, and, often, the complexity and number of parties involved is not known at the outset. To get a better idea of scope, contact our Investigations team.

What will I get with an Employers Council investigation?

An Employers Council investigation will include all interviews, including summary statements drafted by the investigator and approved by the individual parties and witnesses, and a comprehensive investigative report. The report will include all evidence, a detailed analysis of each allegation, credibility analyses and factual conclusions that are based on a preponderance of the evidence standard. Contact Workplace Investigations to view one of our sample reports.

How will I know what to do when the investigation is over?

As the investigative report contains factual conclusions only, you may want legal advice as to next steps when the investigation is concluded. If you are an Employers Council member, our Employment Law Services division can assist you in interpreting the investigation results and determining the best way to address the findings.


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5 Steps to Smoother Workplace Investigations

Starting with asking for substantiating documentation, here are the steps you can take to de-stress the investigation process.

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Prioritize employment law training to gain these 6 big benefits

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1 “30+ Alarming Employment Discrimination Statistics [2023]: Recent Employment Discrimination Cases.” 31 October 2022. Accessed 1 May, 2023.