Does an employee have a legal right to review an investigation report?

An employee was wrongfully accused of harassment and would like a copy of the report.

Rita Risser Chai replies:

Generally, an employee does not have the legal right to review an investigation report, and it is standard practice for many organizations not to give it to the accused. If you are a union employee, the contract may require the company to give it to you, and company policy may require it as well. In addition, if you are terminated for harassment, you file for unemployment benefits, and the company claims it terminated you for good cause, at the unemployment hearing you may be able to compel the company to provide the investigation report. Similarly, if you sue for wrongful termination, then you would be able to obtain it as part of discovery.

Posted 12-05-2017

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Rita M. Risser Chai is the founder of Fair Measures. An attorney in California for 20 years and now an attorney in Hawaii, she authored the Prentice Hall book, Stay Out of Court! The Manager’s Guide to Preventing Employee Lawsuits. She developed most of the curriculum used by Fair Measures, created the firm’s first website praised in HR Magazine, and wrote numerous articles on employment law including one on best practice harassment prevention training published in the magazine of the American Society for Training and Development (now ATD). She taught Law and Human Resources at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for eight years, and has presented four times at the annual conventions of the Hawaii Society of Human Resource Management.