The holiday season is a fun time for most employees, as well as it being a busy time for employers. But it can also be a season of challenges for many employers that sometimes calls for both proactive and reactive investigations. What types of investigations might your company need to handle during this season? Here are a few to consider.
The arrival of both the holiday party season and the cold winter months can mean an increase in potential workers compensation claims. From slip-and-fall accidents on icy walkways to accidents hanging the tinsel at the office party, workers compensation claims are an expensive and time-consuming way to end the year.
While many workers comp claims are legitimate and should be taken seriously, some employees aren’t so honest. The best way to determine which you’re dealing with is to use an experienced investigator to find the truth. They will examine evidence, interview employees and other witnesses, check backgrounds, and even observe claimants while you enjoy your holidays.
Harassment, discrimination, and bullying cause huge liability issues for employers. Any complaints of — or even suspicions of — these practices within your company should be a red flag for management. And unfortunately, when employees drink at company parties, exchange personal and gag gifts, express religious beliefs, or spend long hours working during the busy season, bad behaviors become more likely.
A thorough investigation of complaints not only protects employees who may be suffering from illegal behavior, it also protects the company from lawsuits or reputation damage. And the best way to deter any accusations of impropriety on your part is to use a professional outside service who will conduct impartial research.
Does your company have a social media policy for its employees? Increasingly, employers are recognizing that the actions of their employees on social media can reflect on the employer as well. Unfortunately, the relaxed environment of the holiday season and an abundance of social gatherings can open up opportunities for employees to violate your guidelines.
Keeping an eye on social media use may not simply be a case of following your employees’ accounts. It could call for digging into other aliases, examining friends’ and followers’ posts, and looking for archived material. And all this must be done without infringing on anyone’s rights or privacy or accidentally violating the law. A professional investigator can make sure this happens.
Many companies do the bulk of their business during the holiday season and end-of-year months. This means an increase in employees handling cash and sensitive customer data, more interactions with customers and potential for conflict, and a higher chance of misdeeds falling through the cracks. Employees may also fall into financial problems, putting them at risk for fraudulent behavior like embezzling.
If you haven’t conducted employee background checks in the past, now is a good time to start doing so. A background check involves screening for criminal activity, driving records, credit histories, and prior employer experiences. It can be done at any time during employment if employees provide permission. And occasionally checking on key employees ensures you know about potentially risky changes in their lives.
Does your company have to deal with any of these difficult situations as you approach the holiday season? If so, start by learning more about how a professional investigator can help with the workload and ensure everyone stays within the law.
J.P. Investigative Group, Inc. can help. We will work with you to identify your concerns, develop an investigation strategy, produce useful information, and prepare for any future actions. Call today to make an appointment.
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