While the movement to a remote workforce has been underway as technology has improved, it was impossible to foresee the immediate adoption of remote working by necessity on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the pandemic, workforces are longer side by side and in a central location. The workplace has now expanded to include homes, coffee shops, and places in between. New and different compliance risks have arisen for every type of organization that has remained operational and in business during the pandemic.
Through the passage of time, better planning, and vaccinations, the ravages of the pandemic are lessening and companies are adapting. However, remote workforces will likely long outlast the pandemic and the compliance nightmare challenges of remote working will remain. Thus, organizations, and compliance professionals in particular, must adapt to meet the various challenges associated with remote working.
This is especially true with compliance investigations. One of the most challenging and stressful occurrences for any company and its compliance staff is conducting an internal investigation. This is particularly true when an internal investigation has arisen because of an inquiry from law enforcement or other governmental agencies. The relevant question is how compliance investigations will change as a result of pandemic-related workplace changes, such as a remote workforce.
This article examines the core compliance principles of conducting an internal investigation, detail how those principles have changed as a result of the prevalence of remote workforces, analyze new and possibly unforeseen challenges when conducting internal investigations, and highlight new considerations and other remedial measures whenever an investigation is completed.
This article, written by MMM’s Edgar Bueno, Matt Wilmot, and Josh Kirschner, is located on pages 31 – 57 of The Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s Journal of Regulatory Compliance. Click here to begin reading.