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Effectiveness of employment law violation scrutiny in question

| Apr 5, 2021 | Employment Law

For Iowans who are subjected to mistreatment at work, there is often concern as to what they can do to put a stop to it. This is true in any kind of job, but an underrepresented group includes people who work in blue collar-type employment. Those in the service industry, law enforcement, emergency services and factories are vulnerable to the misbehavior of coworkers and people in a position of greater authority. Sometimes, the illegal activities extend to those at the top. This can be linked to the limited wages associated with the job and perceptions that anyone is replaceable. It could also be connected to abusing authority.

With the “Me Too” movement – often referred to by its social media hashtag #MeToo – there might have been hope that workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and other employment law violations that impact people of all genders and identities could be addressed in a positive manner. Unfortunately, that might not be the case.

Workers should be aware that investigations could be flawed

When there is an investigation into allegations of workplace wrongdoing and employment law violations, it is wise to remember that it could be done for appearances and not in the interest of an objective outcome. There are fundamentals that should be in place as part of an investigation. The case itself should dictate how it is assessed. Finding an impartial entity to look at the evidence, determine what happened and who is to blame is crucial as it eliminates any sense of tilting one way or the other.

It is all too common for employers to put forth the impression that they are intent on weeding out a negative workplace culture and protecting employees from illegality. Once the smoke clears and people are no longer paying as strict attention to the allegations as they were in the past, the investigation may be limited, faulty or done in a “going through the motions” way.

There are ways for investigations to be viable

Analysis of investigations indicate flaws in the process. An estimated three-quarters of victims are reluctant to report what happened because they are concerned about being retaliated against and making matters worse. It is believed that companies and entities that oversee agencies like police departments and fire departments are simply going through the motions.

A small number delve deeply into the case itself to try and formulate a reasonable conclusion. Even if there is a third-party investigation, that does not automatically mean much. Increasingly, companies are encouraged to have a system in place for workers to report what happened without fear of reprisal. Evidence should be accrued, those conducting the investigation should be aboveboard and standards should be set.

Having a caring representative could help with an employment law case

It is natural for people who have endured employment law violations to think about what they should do in multiple contexts. Complaining to human resources might seem easier, but it is not always effective as the middling results of #MeToo have shown. For assistance, it could be beneficial to have someone who understands from the perspective of the victim and will be focused on the interests of that individual instead of adhering to a preplanned agenda. An advocate who will fight for those who were wronged can be a crucial partner in seeking justice. A consultation may provide information on the common problems with an in-house investigation and give alternatives to seek a positive outcome.