What does a Workplace EEO Investigator do?

If you own a company do you know that your business can be a happier, safer place for your staff to work if you have a Workplace EEO Investigator on board? Do you know what a Workplace EEO Investigator does? Or perhaps you’re someone who is interested in becoming an investigator but want to know what exactly a Workplace EEO Investigator does. For starters, an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Investigator makes your organization look more appealing. It shows that you care about how people should be treated. This helps promote diversity, which enables your staff members to freely express their ideas, thoughts and feedback. Your team, with their different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, etc., will feel like they belong and that their contributions are appreciated.

If you want your business culture to discourage discriminatory behavior and encourage people to treat each other respectfully at work, a Workplace EEO Investigator reinforces your intention. Here are two top responsibilities of this professional:

● Investigate EEO-related complaints
● Conduct the EEO-related investigation

You must know what EEO stands for before knowing why investigating these complaints is so important. EEO stands for “equal employment opportunity,” and the Civil Rights Act turned this right into a law in 1964. Employees are legally protected from discrimination based on their religion, race, national origin, disability, sex, age, or genetic information. The protection covers all steps of the employment process: recruiting, training, promotion, discipline and retention. A strong diversity plan, a system for reporting complaints, and a complete process of investigation will help employers maintain a business that practices EEO.

A Workplace EEO Investigator investigates EEO-related complaints.

What qualifies as these types of complaints?

For a Workplace EEO Investigator to investigate complaints, he/she must know the applicable laws. This person must also invest sufficient time interviewing all parties involved and have full knowledge of the organization’s practices. Here are some examples of EEO complaints:

● No EEO policy set in place at a company
● Not applying policies correctly and consistently
● Not enough manager training
● Inaccurate interview questions
● Race based discrimination
● Retaliation: taking retribution on people who report, participate in and/or are involved in discrimination

A Workplace EEO Investigator conducts EEO-related investigations.

What is involved in an investigation?

When conducting an investigation, the EEO Investigator must take the initial complaint very seriously. How they handle the complaint from the very beginning will determine everything. Here are the 6 steps of conducting an EEO investigation:

1. Take In Initial Complaint
An employee complains about something related to equal employment opportunities. For example, they claims that they are being discriminated against. After the initial complaint, the investigator starts getting the facts. Good listening skills and documentation come into play here as the person who filed the complaint and any witnesses are interviewed. Collecting evidence is important too.

2. Explain Procedure
The Workplace EEO Investigator should let the complainant know exactly what will happen when a complaint is officially filed. They should also let the complainant
know that their confidentiality is protected as much as possible.

3. Start Investigation
The investigator will now start the investigation by considering the laws that may have been broken regarding the complaint. If none are broken, then a meeting to discuss the decision should be set. If there are legal implications, then the investigator’s job is to see that the process is completed in the fastest and most efficient manner.

4. Gather Evidence
All relevant information will be examined. The investigator will also use comparative information to ensure that the allegations are confirmed and that there are no mitigating circumstances that justify the behavior, making it legal.

5. Conduct Interviews
The job of an EEO Investigator is to start the interviews and discuss the allegation(s). They will be working through the accusations and the “he said/she said.” The
goal is to get to the facts and search for contradiction or corroboration. Get the story and truly hear the story from everyone involved.

6. Make Decision
The last part of an EEO complaint is to make the final decision. After facts and evidence have been reviewed, laws have been considered and interviews have been completed, it’s time to determine if any discrimination did occur. If the answer is no, confidentiality should still be protected and no retaliation should occur. If discrimination did take place, then the investigator will come up with a draft for disciplinary measures. Finally, regardless of the decision, follow-up is crucial.

Now that you’ve learned about some of the things that a Workplace EEO Investigator does, as a business, you’ll have to determine if they have the training, qualifications, certifications and education that your business needs. As someone looking to become an investigator, you’ll have to acquire what it takes to become a highly trained Workplace EEO Investigator. You’ll find the answers here plus our upcoming EEOC training dates here: [LINK].