Avoiding Bias in a Workplace Investigation
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Understand different types of bias and how they can impact an investigation.A workplace complaint is an opportunity for an employer to investigate and determine whether an employee's rights have been violated. Done properly, an employer can eliminate workplace bias or harassment. If mistakes are made, the employer is at risk of continued harassment or discrimination, massive employee engagement, morale, and employee retention challenges. An employee complains of harassment in the workplace. The person selected to conduct the investigation is not prepared to investigate. This challenge is compounded by the fact that many of the witnesses identified relate better with the harasser as opposed to the victim. During this course, you will gain an appreciation of the inherent challenges in conducting a workplace investigation. You will learn how to decide who conducts the investigation. You will learn how to recognize and combat bias. You will understand the steps to minimize bias before, during, and after the investigation. You will also learn proactive steps that can be taken to protect privacy and avoid retaliation.
AuthorsDavid G. Gabor, DGN Workplace Initiatives Diane Gold, Diane Gold Consulting
Why Understanding, Avoiding, and Responding to Bias Is Important
• Effects on the Complaints
• Effects on the Accused
• Effects on the Organization
Recognizing Bias in Workplace Investigations
• Affinity Bias
• Confirmation Bias
• Stereotypes, Etc.
The Investigative Process
• Who Should Conduct the Investigation?
- Conflict of Interest; Complexity of the Charge
- Timing and Resources; Qualifications
• Conducting Interviews and Gathering Information
Appropriate Steps to Take to Avoid Bias in Investigations
• Creating a Consistent Complaint and Investigation Process
• Strategies for Combatting Any Unconscious Bias of Your Own
• Avoiding an Appearance of Bias
• Internal vs. External Investigations