How to Handle Workplace Complaints

Workplace complaints happen every day - whether it’s sexual harassment or unequal pay or creating a hostile work environment. When employees bring concerns to their employers of potentially illegal behavior, or perhaps just behavior that not in line with the company’s values, the company’s decision of what to do next sets the tone for the outcome and the resolution. Companies often turn first to human resources (HR) when faced with these situations. HR as a fact finder can be problematic for 2 reasons: 1) small companies often don’t have appropriately trained HR personnel or 2) HR risks losing credibility when they act as fact finders for internal complaints because they are perceived as too close to the relevant parties (witnesses or decision makers). Consequently, I recommend that clients hire a third-party investigator.

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