Conducting Bulletproof Internal Investigations

Duration: 90 Minutes
Don't be found guilty of a sloppy workplace investigation. Learn how to avoid costly mistakes. This webinar introduces the benefits and basic components of a proper workplace investigation, including actions to take and decisions to make along the way. We will also cover common investigation mistakes that can lead to legal trouble, as well as tips for how to avoid them.
Bulletproof Workplace Investigations
Instructor: Cathleen Hampton
Product ID: 506133
At the heart of every organization are its people unfortunately, some of the most difficult of management responsibilities comes dealing with tough, touchy personnel that inherent to an increasingly diverse workforce. When it comes to employee investigations, it's all about the W's - Who, What, When and Why.

Objectives of the Presentation
This webinar will offer guidance on how best to proceed and how to achieve a meaningful outcome for all involved. We will review:
  • Understanding the key legal requirements for conducting workplace investigations
  • When and why an employer should conduct an investigation
  • The key planning steps for conducting a workplace investigation
  • 10 essential steps for conducting workplace investigations
  • Recordkeeping and policy considerations
  • Top mistakes to avoid during an investigation
Why Should you Attend
  • If a problem or complaint comes up at your company; a proper investigation can help you figure out what happened and what to do about it. In this webinar, we will cover the breadth, depth, and application of a solid workplace investigation process you can use to ensure not just compliance, but a fair and equitable outcome as well.
  • Internal investigations aim to uncover the truth about alleged misconduct within the organization and to document findings proving or disproving an allegation should it be needed at a future time. But a good internal investigation must do so without compromising the relationship with innocent employees or unnecessarily damaging anyone's reputation. That calls for good planning, consistent execution, analytical skill, sensitivity, and a solid grasp of the legalities involved.
  • Asking crucial questions, seeking key information and documenting your findings make all the difference in conducting successful investigations. Complaints come in many different forms and employers have a duty to investigate certain complaints, including harassment, discrimination, potentially violent employees, criminal violations, and policy violations. In fact, to not investigating will be seen by a court of law as a form of retaliation on the part of the employer, even if the employer found out about an issue due to a notice of complaint levied by an employee with the EEOC. In this webinar, we will review the breadth, depth, and application of a solid workplace investigation process you can use to ensure not just compliance, but a fair and equitable outcome as well.
Areas Covered
  • Employer obligations for dealing with complaints in the workplace according to the law
  • Negligent doctrine and workplace investigations
  • Revealing areas of potential discrimination
  • Bulletproof investigative model to consider
  • Overview of interview techniques and communication methods
  • Collecting evidence and recordkeeping practices that must be included
  • How to avoid the most common investigation mistakes
  • Best practice policy considerations
Who will Benefit
This webinar provides valuable information for attendees who are responsible for carrying out effective and lawful workplace investigations. Human resources managers and others charged with conducting workplace investigations will learn effective strategies for investigating complaints made by or against an employee.

Topic Background
The number of charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is once again climbing, according to newly released litigation and enforcement statistics for FY 2015. During the past fiscal year, 89,385 charges were filed with the agency, up slightly from the 88,778 charges filed the previous year. The largest number of charges filed with the agency since FY 1997-the first year the agency started compiling such data-is 99,947 charges filed in FY 2011. Charge numbers had steadily declined since that time until this year. In total, the agency was able to secure more than $356 million through voluntary resolutions (mediation, conciliation, and settlements), and other $65.3 million for charging parties through litigation.

The agency's litigation and enforcement statistics provide insight into the types of discrimination claims employees are filing, as well as where the Commission is focusing its resources. For FY 2015:
  • 44.5% (39,757 out of 89,385) of the claims filed involved allegations of employer retaliation
  • Retaliation claims stemming only from alleged Title VII violations amounted to 35.7% (31,893) of all claims filed. A similar number of charges alleging race discrimination (31,027, or 34.7%) were filed during this time
  • Notably, claims of disability discrimination reached a record high this past year. A total of 26,968 such claims were filed, representing 30.2% of total charges
  • With respect to discrimination lawsuits, the agency resolved 92,641 charges in FY 2015
  • The commission also resolved 171 actions, including 155 merits lawsuits
These statistics tell us that vigilance and prompt action in the form of a well-targeted internal investigation should be the order of the day when an employer discovers information suggesting possible wrongdoing or misconduct on the part of a present or past employee of the organization internally before the complaint hits the external watchdogs. But employer beware, a bad investigation is viewed by both the EEOC and the courts as no investigation at best, and derisive at worst. If the agency's fiscal reports tell us anything, not all claims go to court, but all claims spell trouble.
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Instructor Profile:
Cathleen Hampton is a well-known and respected Human resources professional with more than 25 years' experience providing subject matter expertise and consulting services in the areas of risk and compliance. She is well versed in employment law under the FEHA and Title VII to include designing and conducting management training specifically related to discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment prevention. She has been responsible for responding to sexual harassment and other discrimination complaints. Ms. Hampton has conducted numerous investigations of harassment complaints and is considered a trusted advisor advising employers or employees regarding discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment prevention as well as providing expert guidance on development of policy and practice for companies.
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