Being the subject of a workplace complaint, and subsequent investigation, can be a challenging period for any employee. Complaints can come for an internal or external source and are usually regarding conduct in the workplace.
Different employers will handle complaints in different ways but, as an employee, it is important to be aware of your rights as an employee when you are the subject of a complaint:
- That you are given an opportunity to respond to the complaint;
- That the investigation and complaint is kept confidential;
- That you are updated on the progress, status and timing of the investigation;
- For the investigation to be finalised in a prompt and timely manner.
Often a formal investigation will require a response from the employee. Drafting this response is an essential step in responding to an investigation. This, as an employee, is your opportunity to present your experience and opinion in regards to the complaint. Legal assistance in drafting a response is often necessary. Advice in this area will assist in representing yourself to your employer and negotiating the best return to work or exit strategy.
A workplace complaint can result in termination. If this is the case, legal advice can assist in negotiating you the best outcome and settlement if the result of the investigation is you leaving your employment.
Without legal advice your employer may take adverse action as a result of the complaint. This may involve your termination on unfavourable terms.
In most cases, an employee who is put on leave during the period of the investigation will continue to be paid for the period of that investigation.
As your employment lawyers we can assist in managing the workplace complaint process. If you have any questions about your situation, give us a call and we can clear things up for you.