Managing communications during an internal investigation
November 15, 2019
President Zach Olsen co-authors a Corporate Counsel article with Haynes and Boone partner Tamara Devitt about the importance of communication during an internal investigation
As an employer, what you say is just as important as what you do. Internal investigations carried out by HR, compliance and legal professionals are no exception. What you say about the investigation—to employees, your board, media and the other involved parties—is as critical as the steps you take to investigate the incident or accusation.
Even for the most tested teams, developing and disseminating thoughtful, transparent communications amid an investigation can be challenging. Determining what to say—if anything—about an investigation involves many fast-moving variables. Mistakes can easily cause unnecessary reputational harm and litigation risk for the organization and individuals at its helm.
Helpfully, a wealth of case studies can provide guidance on what—and what not—to say when helping your organization navigate and communicate about investigations. From a wide range of scandals that have played out in public—involving sexual harassment, accusations of ageism, abuse of power and bribery, among others—you can build a playbook that will help prepare your organization for whatever trouble lies ahead.
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