confidential investigative report

A couple weeks ago we had drama in the office, followed by an employee filing a formal complaint of bullying against her manager ('Manager A'). A few hours later in a completely unrelated incident, Manager A was barred from a meeting, so he filed a formal complaint of bullying against the City Manager ('Manager B').

The City Counsel hired an independent firm to investigate the complaint against the City Manager (Manager B), which is in line with past practice, and I was tasked with conducting the internal investigation on the employee complaint against Manager A.

Manager B is directly over the Manager A, and since A has a complaint against B, any discipline B meted out from the first complaint would smack of retaliation. Our attorney recommended that the City Counsel be responsible for discipline in both complaints.

Manager B wants a copy of the confidential report on my investigation (employee vs. Manager A). Should I give it to him?


  • 9 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • If my facts are right, and this sounds like a pretty complicated case so they might not be, I wouldn't give Manager B the report until the investigation into Manager A (which you're conducting) is completely finalized and all results have been discussed with the interested parties. I'd say it's best to keep the two investigations completely separate, to avoid disturbing the validity and fairness of either. Hope that makes sense, and let us know how this plays out!

    My one question would be why City Counsel has been recommended to handle discipline for both, when the two incidents are unrelated? That being said, the lawyers are the pros, so if they are recommending it, I'm sure they have their reasons.
  • Thanks, Coffee. That sounds like the best approach.

    The reason City Counsel is handling both disciplinary actions is because of the appearance of retaliation if Manager B disciplined A, since A has a formal complaint against B in an unrelated matter.
  • They're acting under the premise that Nothing Can Ever Be Proven To Be 100% Unrelated To Anything Else. In this case, it looks like an excellent application of that maxim.
  • Yes, I'm sure that when Manager A learned someone had filed against him, it planted a seed. And as soon as something didn't go his way, it became the opportunity to wag the dog.

    So after discipline is determined in a case, how far do you go in telling the outcome to the individual who filed the complaint?
  • All you can say is that there was an investigation and that any appropriate action that may or may have not been needed has been taken. Then you remind the employee that if a complaint had been lodged against them that they would haved liked you to keep the results confidential too.
  • On a related note... Is there a strong whistleblower policy in place?
  • No Whistleblowers, per se, but we do have policies prohibiting retaliation (below).

    2.5. Prohibition Against Retaliation (Revised 4/07)
    Retaliation is adverse treatment which occurs because of opposition to unlawful workplace harassment. The employer will not tolerate any retaliation by management or by any other employee against an employee who exercises his/her rights under this policy. Any employee who believes s/he has been retaliated or discriminated against in any manner whatsoever as a result of having filed a complaint, assisted another employee in filing a complaint, or participated in an investigative process should immediately notify the EEO Officer or the alternate. The employer will promptly investigate and deal appropriately with any allegation of retaliation.
  • Outcome (I always forget to post this part!)

    Complaint against Manager B as filed by Manager A...unfounded.

    Complaint against Manager A as filed by employee...founded.

    After the verdict was returned unfounded, it was decided Manager B could discipline in the Manager A case for the following reasons:

    Manager A did not consider Manager B to be the type to retaliate against him,
    and City Counsel is normally a part of the appeal process, so shouldn't discipline.

    The End (if only that were true!)
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