How We Conduct Comprehensive EEO Investigations

April 23, 2024 Employment Law

When an employee claims that your company is liable for harassment, discrimination or any other type of employment-related violation, conducting a comprehensive EEO investigation is a key first step toward making informed decisions. The company’s leadership team needs to have a clear and unbiased understanding of all relevant facts; and, while the leadership team must act quickly, it must also ensure that it is not basing its decisions on assumptions, misrepresentations or misguided assertions.

We rely on extensive experience guiding employers through all types of workplace investigations to help our clients conduct EEO investigations both quickly and effectively. Here is a quick look at some of the strategies we use to ensure that our clients have all of the information they need:

1. Assemble the EEO Investigation Team

When engaged to assist with an EEO investigation, one of our first priorities is to quickly assemble the investigation team. Choosing the correct personnel to be involved with the investigation is critical, as personal relationships, fear of adverse employment action and other conflicts of interest can compromise the investigative process. But, conducting an EEO investigation as quickly as possible requires a high-performing team, so we work closely with our clients’ leaders to ensure that our consultants are connecting with the right internal personnel.

2. Establish Roles and Communication Channels

Once we assemble the EEO investigation team, one of the next key steps is to establish roles and communication channels. Each member of the team should have specific and clearly-defined duties, and it should be clear where information about the investigation should (and shouldn’t) flow. We typically have all communications flow directly to our consultants so that we can effectively manage the process.

3. Identify and Review Relevant Records

Various types of records can potentially be relevant to an EEO investigation; and, when conducting an investigation, it is imperative not to leave any stone unturned. Some examples of the types of files and data that may be relevant to an employee’s EEO complaint include:

  • Personnel files (including any recent performance reviews or disciplinary actions)
  • Relevant corporate and human resources policies and procedures
  • Emails, text messages, and direct messages on platforms such as Basecamp and Slack
  • Surveillance camera footage
  • Controlled access records (including relevant personnel’s use of key cards)

Once engaged to conduct an investigation, we quickly assess the types of records that are most likely to be relevant, and then we work with our clients’ IT departments and other relevant personnel to secure these records for review.

4. Interview Relevant Personnel

Conducting interviews is often a critical aspect of EEO investigations as well. We have extensive experience conducting employee interviews during workplace investigations, and we rely on this experience to obtain the information our clients need when evaluating EEO complaints.

5. Assemble the Evidence

Finally, with all available evidence in hand, we assemble the evidence for review by our clients’ leadership teams. We digest, summarize and synthesize all relevant records, data, and statements from the company’s personnel so that our clients’ leaders can make informed decisions as efficiently as possible.  

Contact Us About Conducting an EEO Investigation

If you would like to know more about our approach to conducting EEO investigations, we invite you to get in touch. Call 720-452-3300 or send us a message online to schedule a confidential consultation today.