Human Rights Complaints, HR Complaints

How Are Human Rights Complaints Investigated?

Having workplace a problem that is big enough to warrant making a complaint to the Human Resources department can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t know what you can expect from the process. Will your claim be heard? Will it be investigated? Is it even worth submitting a complaint in the first place?


While the protocol for handling human rights complaints will differ depending on the workplace, there are certain things that you can generally expect to happen. And, no matter what process your workplace takes, it is always within your rights to submit a formal complaint. 


This article will walk you through what you can generally expect from a formal human rights complaint, why submitting a human rights complaint can benefit you in the long run, and what your options are if an human rights complaint doesn’t go your way.


What happens when you submit a human rights complaint?


The process for dealing with human rights complaints will be different from company to company. Some smaller companies might not have a process already in place, while established companies may have set protocols for dealing with complaints.


Before submitting a complaint, make sure you take the time to read through your company’s workplace human resources policies, especially any Human Rights policies; these should tell you if there is a set protocol for dealing with human rights complaints. 


Usually, when a human rights complaint is submitted, you will be expected to provide any evidence of your complaint that can help support your claim. This might include providing accounts of what happened, giving over any messages or recordings, and adding any accounts from anyone else who witnessed the event(s). If you know that you are going to submit a complaint, make sure you take the time to gather any evidence that you know of so you can have it ready for when you need it.


Once evidence is gathered, the Human Resources department will usually take the time to review your claim and decide how to proceed. Depending on the severity of the situation, several things might happen. On one hand, your claim might be filed for reference, so that if something similar comes up in the future, your claim can be read and compared with the new issue. On the other hand, if your issue is more pressing, the Human Resources department might start a formal investigation.


Usually, when a formal investigation is started, it will involve hiring a third-party investigator (sometimes a lawyer or human resources professional) to come in and assess the validity of the claim that you made. The investigator will likely conduct interviews, review evidence, and look for anything else that can help them form a conclusion.


After the investigation is completed, what happens next may depend on the policies in place at your workplace. You may be told the outcome of the investigation, or the HR department may choose to keep certain decisions confidential. Make sure to keep in touch with the contact for the HR department to keep up with what’s happening.


Following the investigation, you may go back to work, or there may be changes to your workplace that reflect the findings of the investigation.


What do I do if I don’t get the outcome that I want from a complaint or formal investigation?


Sometimes, even though you submitted a complaint or a formal investigation occurred, you will not see the outcome that you were hoping for. Maybe the complaint was filed away, or the formal investigation concluded something different from what you were expecting. Either way, that doesn’t have to be the end of the line for your problem.


Now that you have a complaint on file that shows that you were attempting to take care of your problem, you will have an easier time later on making a legal case for your issue. If you hire legal representation, you may be able to send your employer a demand letter stating that if the issue is not addressed in a suitable way, you may pursue further legal action. Such an action might be filing a human rights claim, suing your employer, or other options that a lawyer might suggest to you.


Why is filing a human rights complaint often a good idea?


No matter what the issue is or what the policy that your workplace has implemented says, if you have the evidence to back it up, then it is always a good idea to file an human rights complaint if you have an issue in your workplace. A complaint may spur your workplace into action and lead to an easy resolution for you. If it does not, or if the resolution is not something you like, having the complaint on file will still at least show that you tried to have the issue dealt with. You will also be able to present the complaint to the court as evidence of the issue, and your workplace will not be able to deny that you tried to raise it earlier.




Every workplace has a different way of dealing with human rights complaints. Some workplaces may not have policies in place, while others will lay out clearly the steps that they will take if a complaint is submitted, as well as what will happen if a formal investigation needs to take place.


If you have the evidence to substantiate your claim, submitting an human rights complaint is always a good idea if you have a problem at your workplace. However, if you are not happy with the way that an human rights complaint was handled, or if a problem persists following an investigation, make sure to reach out to the qualified team of workplace lawyers at Achkar Law for help. 


Contact Us


If you are an employer or an employee with questions about human rights complaints and investigations, our team of experienced workplace lawyers at Achkar Law can help. Contact us by phone toll-free at 1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to assist.