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Conducting Workplace Investigations

Book Description

A situation that requires an internal investigation can range from something that can be handles internally, before it has a chance to escalate, to something serious enough to warrant involvement of a governmental or regulatory agency such as the Equal Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, or OSHA. In some cases criminal activity could be involved, which would require law enforcement involvement. Since there are likely to be consequences from an internal investigation, your ability to properly lead and/or conduct an investigation into the matter can be the difference between discovering what really happened, or not. This short book will provide you with guidance, insight and practical tools to use. The information will help you identify key issues and make important decisions concerning the investigative process, as well as make you a better investigator. This book is part of the HR Skills Series designed to help managers plan for and manage changes in such areas as consumer demand, workforce turnover, production and performance standards.

Table of Contents

  1. Title
  2. Copyright
  3. About the HR Skills Series
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
  6. Chapter 1: Workplace Investigations
  7. Chapter 2: Investigative Interviews
  8. Chapter 3: Interviewing the Complainant
  9. Chapter 4: Interviewing Witnesses
  10. Chapter 5: Interviewing the Accused
    1. DiscrepanciesIt is likely that an investigator will face discrepancies in the accounts of others, such as the ones presented in the case study. These discrepancies often go to the heart of what the investigation itself is attempting to resolve. The investigator needs to review what he or she has been told and by whom, and determine which of these inconsistencies or discrepancies either are unlikely or are believable. The credibility of each witness needs to be evaluated. The investigator needs to decide if these inconsistencies are a result of poor memory, misperception, or deception.
  11. Chapter 6: Investigation Conclusions
    1. Communicating the DecisionOnce the decision regarding the complaint or allegations has been made, the complainant must be the first to know. He or she should be told what to expect as a result of the investigation and any actions that might be taken that he or she should be made aware of in advance. Other affected parties should be informed as appropriate, after the accused is informed. It might be appropriate or necessary to restate the organization’s policies concerning confidentiality and retaliation. Any actions, consequences, or changes that are to result from the investigation should be implemented as quickly as possible.
  12. Summary