What do I do if one witness report is not like the others during a workplace investigation?
Nov. 14, 2022
What do you do if you have one really outlying interview or one really outlying witness report?
For example, maybe you have eight people say, "Bob stole the truck on Tuesday," and then you had one person say, "The truck was never stolen. Bob doesn't work here, but Betty stole a sedan on Thursday." These conflicting reports happen sometimes, and you have somebody with a significantly distinct perspective from everybody else. That's part of why we interview more than one person, right? So that we can get some 'more likely than not' odds about the actual occurrence.
The thing that you avoid is ignoring that in the report. You want to present inconsistent information to your client because that makes the report real. Then you also write about the inconsistencies in the report. In the report, you explain why their perspective is different or just that nobody else perceived it, so that person's perceptions are not reasonable.
Again, that shows the neutral and unbiased part of your investigative work. Because if all of our investigations always fell neatly in order, and everybody always agreed on the details, this work would not be hard, and we wouldn't be charging what we charge for external investigations. It is sometimes hard just because one person reports something so incredibly different than how everybody else perceived it. We have to write about that to show the organic nature of our investigation and the neutral and unbiased approach that we took to our conclusions.