At some point, almost every organization encounters questions of actual or suspected wrongdoing by its employees, officers or directors. When that scenario arises, it is time to launch an internal investigation to ferret out any wrongdoing and to take swift action to correct it.
For most employees, cooperation in an internal investigation is a required condition of their continued employment. However, if the suspected wrongdoing turns out to have been conducted by one or more employees, the investigation may lead to anything from disciplinary proceedings against employees to criminal charges.
These individuals could possess key documents, may have witnessed the conduct at issue or could be similarly situated to individuals at other organizations or other parts of your organization who are being investigated for suspected wrongdoing. In those situations, it is proper for the company to draw the relevant factual distinctions to the attention of the employee and remind the employee that he or she can obtain separate counsel.