Keeping track of documents in workplace investigations

Keeping Track of Documents in Workplace Investigations

There are many different types of workplace investigations that a human resources department might face, and it is important to do them thoroughly and correctly. When facing sexual harassment investigations, accident investigations or any type of corporate social responsibility investigations, it is very important to take proper notes. These may become exhibits in future steps of workplace investigations, or if legal action becomes necessary.

Notes about questions and answers exchanged between investigators and witnesses are especially important in sexual harassment investigations, or any other type of exploration. The investigators should keep a thorough file of the documents from their corporate social responsibility investigations, just like any other project in the corporate business world would be carefully documented. In the case of accident investigations, there should be a log of all the calls that were made to witnesses and medical personnel, as well as notes of all interviews.

In any and all workplace investigations, the communications, e-mails, and letters to and from each witness must be logged. In sexual harassment investigations, there might be written complaints to keep track of, and relevant sections of the policies being considered should also be filed with the other documents. In all types of corporate social responsibility investigations, any documents that were provided by witnesses or gathered by the investigator, tape recordings, computer files, timecards, calendars, log notes, reports, telephone messages, e-mails, or any other documents that might verify or refute the allegation should be logged.

In all sexual harassment or accident investigations, the investigator’s report should complete the file of documents. When in doubt, the best policy is to save any documents that have to do with workplace investigations.

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