How to Investigate Workplace Misconduct: It's about more than Harassment

Duration: 120 Minutes
What do you do if you need to search the employee's desk, computer, smart phone or locker? Other questions that need to be answered are when do you include legal counsel? What evidence do you need to gather? This webinar will focus on these issues by discussing best practices to ensure you are conducting a fair and impartial investigation that will support a positive work environment, protect employees and the organization, and decrease the risk of liability.
Investigating Workplace Misconduct
Instructor: Dr. Susan Strauss
Product ID: 501757
The webinar addresses laws that HR is responsible for upholding. When the laws are not followed, it increases the liability for the organization and interferes with a fair and equitable work environment for employees.

Objectives of the Presentation
  • To identify what constitutes a complaint
  • To determine if an investigation is necessary
  • To discuss the steps of an investigation
  • To explore the intricacies of interviewing the accuser, accused and witnesses
  • To demonstrate good documentation
  • To differentiate between a formal and informal investigative procedures
  • Searches
  • To determine credibility
  • To discuss tips on whether someone is lying
  • To reach a conclusion following an investigation
  • To follow up with appropriate action based on the outcome of the investigation
  • To write a formal report outlining the investigation
Why Should you Attend
When we think of workplace investigations, the most common thought is that of investigating harassment complaints. However, there are so many other forms of workplace misconduct that require investigations such as: theft, safety or OSHA issues, retaliation, vandalism, working off the clock, substance abuse, social media violations, and violations of various company policies, as examples. Usually this responsibility is left to HR, sometimes to management, and there may be a need to determine if an outside investigator, such as law enforcement or an IT professional, is the best person to investigate. Conducting an investigation is both a science and an art. There is the scientific/technical aspect ensuring the I's are doted and the T's are crossed to minimize liability. And there is the 'art' of investigating in establishing rapport with those you interview, creating a safe environment in which to interview, and recognizing that interviewees are usually stressed during the interview process. As an employer you have a duty to investigate. Employees have an obligation to cooperate with the investigative process-but what if you have a recalcitrant complainant, wrong-doer or witness? Documentation and writing a final report are critical aspects of an investigation process which begins as soon as an employee makes a complaint-do you know how to document? Do you know the critical elements of a final report to minimize liability? One of the first questions you, as an HR professional, need to consider is whether the complaint requires a full-blown formal investigation or if a less formal resolution is appropriate because the complaint is a minor policy violation.

Financial - Costs related to absenteeism, turnover, liability based on civil rights laws, costs related to investigations.

Areas Covered
  • List of misconduct triggers that are a catalyst for an investigation
  • Specific elements to determine credibility
  • Specific criteria to draw conclusions
  • Template final report
Who will Benefit
This webinar is for all industries so identifying specific job titles is not realistic. That said, the following general job titles should attend:
  • VP of HR
  • All HR directors, managers, and generalists
  • Supervisors
  • Managers
  • Director of Risk Management
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Instructor Profile:
Dr. Susan Strauss is a national and international speaker, trainer, consultant and a recognized expert investigator on workplace and school harassment and bullying. She conducts harassment and bullying investigations and functions as an expert witness in harassment and bullying lawsuits. Her clients are from business, education, healthcare, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sector.

Dr. Strauss also provides organizational, management, and employee development by conducting training, coaching, and facilitating workshops. She has been the Director of Training and Development and consults with a variety of organizations and industries, both large and small. Susan has also been the director of Wellness and has consulted with organizations to help them design, develop, implement and evaluate their Wellness programs.

Susan has a doctorate in organizational leadership. She is a registered nurse, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and counseling, a master’s degree in community health, and professional certificate in training and development. She has been involved in the harassment and bullying arena since 1985.
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