When you are hiring new employees, you might need a bit more information to make your decision. However, you do not have unlimited rights to dig into an applicant's background and personal life. Employees have a right to privacy in certain areas, a right they can enforce by suing you. Therefore, it's important to know what's permitted when following up on potential employee's background and work history
If you run your own business or otherwise are responsible for employees, a worker’s comp investigation can help ensure that each of the workers file a worker's comp claim are entitled to the compensation they receive. This not only allows more money/time to be available for workers with genuine claims, but it also helps limit loss of manpower and the overall loss of revenues.
Naturally, each type of problem demands its own methods of investigation. However, certain common threads run through each type of investigation situation, whether it is a worker’s compensation investigation or a personnel matter. The investigator must be knowledgeable about state and federal employment laws; must uphold the privacy rights of employees and others; must conduct a thorough investigation, but without letting it drag on too long due to time expiration related penalties; must be objective; and must keep his or her mind on the ultimate goal of any investigation, i.e., discovering the underlying reasons for the problem so that management and/or the insurer can take corrective action. In essence, investigations are just a tool for management/insurers to use in analyzing the reasons for problems or gathering data to make management decisions.
Many laws in the area of employee relations may effectively require employers to undertake investigations in order to meet their obligations under the laws. The general duty of any employer who either knows or should know about a discrimination, harassment, threat, or safety problem faced by an employee is to take prompt and effective remedial action to put an end to the problem. In order to know what action to take, or to find out whether action is even necessary, the employer has to investigate the situation and ascertain the facts. Employers or their insurers that fail to investigate such situations usually lose any claims or lawsuits brought by the employee in response to the problem.
Choosing the right investigator or investigation team is critically important. The investigator has to be someone who is credible, respected, regarded as fair and impartial, and knowledgeable about company policies and employment law issues. In addition, they need to have good interviewing skills, be well-organized and able to develop and follow a plan, and be able to communicate well with the various types of employees who will be interviewed. Finally, the company should consider how well the investigator will stand up in court if called upon to testify in a lawsuit, and whether the investigator can be safely trusted with all the confidential things that will come up during the process.
The main goal of any investigation is to provide a sound, factual basis for decisions by management. The investigation should also produce reliable documentation that can be used to support management actions. Finally, an investigation of employees should reveal whether any misconduct has occurred, identify (or exonerate) specific employees who are suspected or guilty of misconduct, and put a stop to further wrongful actions.
Employers are frequently required to conduct investigations of misconduct in the workplace. Independent, prompt and thorough investigation of a harassment or discrimination claim is crucial. An incomplete, inaccurate or biased investigation can actually aggravate the problem and increase the employer's potential liability.
The employer should, therefore, select an unbiased, well trained individual who not only understands employment law, but also knows how to properly conduct an investigation. Our investigators have an average experience level of 20 years and are licensed, fully insured, and bonded. They are thoroughly trained in all area's investigation and kept current. In a nutshell, our personnel are the type of people you need to handle your investigations. Our personnel have extensive experience in conducting all types of investigations, surveillances, and background inquires.