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Workplace Investigations: The HR Manager's Step-by-Step Guide

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Workplace Investigations: The HR Manager's Step-by-Step Guide

When you uncover employee wrongdoing, or an employee comes to you with a complaint, you have to be ready to investigate. That's why it makes so much sense to have Workplace Investigations: The HR Manager's Step-by-Step Guide close at hand.

Everything you need to get to the bottom of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and many other claims, all in one easy-to-use reference. Plus, you get a bonus CD-ROM loaded with investigation forms, checklists, sample reports, and other documents critical to the execution of a safe and effective investigation.

 

Inside this practical AND comprehensive guide you’ll find:

  • Step-by-step instructions that walk you through each phase of the workplace investigation — from taking the complaint to bringing the investigation to a close
  • Advice on how to keep your investigation compliant, so it can stand up in court
  • Proven techniques for deftly managing the participants involved in an investigation: the complainant, witnesses, in-house counsel and senior management
  • Easy-to-follow format explaining the legal aspects of a workplace investigation
  • Useful exercises that cement the investigation’s most difficult steps: gathering relevant documents and drafting an ironclad final report
  • BONUS: CD-ROM, packed with prepared checklists and sample forms you can use in any internal investigation

 

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    Workplace Investigations: The HR Manager's Step-by-Step Guide

    When you uncover employee wrongdoing, or an employee comes to you with a complaint, you have to be ready to investigate. That's why it makes so much sense to have Workplace Investigations: The HR Manager's Step-by-Step Guide close at hand.

    Everything you need to get to the bottom of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and many other claims, all in one easy-to-use reference. Plus, you get a bonus CD-ROM loaded with investigation forms, checklists, sample reports, and other documents critical to the execution of a safe and effective investigation.

    Consider these shocking figures:

    • 1,486: Average number of wrongful termination, harassment and discrimination claims filed by disgruntled employees every day
    • $770 million: How much U.S. employers paid out in 2007 to settle EEOC claims of discrimination and harassment
    • 2½ years: Average length, from complaint to settlement, of an employment lawsuit.


    Inside this practical AND comprehensive guide you’ll find:

    • Step-by-step instructions that walk you through each phase of the workplace investigation — from taking the complaint to bringing the investigation to a close
    • Advice on how to keep your investigation compliant, so it can stand up in court
    • Proven techniques for deftly managing the participants involved in an investigation: the complainant, witnesses, in-house counsel and senior management
    • Easy-to-follow format explaining the legal aspects of a workplace investigation
    • Useful exercises that cement the investigation’s most difficult steps: gathering relevant documents and drafting an ironclad final report
    • BONUS: CD-ROM, packed with prepared checklists and sample forms you can use in any internal investigation


    Workplace Investigations: The HR Manager's Step-by-Step Guide
    Table of Contents

    Chapter One: Preliminary Considerations
    Key to a successful investigation is understanding the limit of what it can accomplish, the risks and potential rewards, and the alternatives. The opening chapter delivers a clear explanation of these issues and helps you make critical decisions at the outset, before you’ve invested time and money in your investigation.

    • To investigate or not - that is the question
    • Unexpected benefits of a good investigation
    • The danger of failing to investigate
    • What are you investigating?


    Chapter Two: Workplace Searches

    When conducting an investigation involving any kind of workplace search, you’re up against competing obligations. This chapter explains how to overcome this challenge,
    and find the evidence you need to get to the truth without violating employee privacy rights. You’ll gain skills and methods for uncovering essential information, and protect
    your organization against charges of apathy, negligence, or worse.

    • Searching desks and offices
    • Can a workplace computer be private?
    • Eavesdropping and monitoring calls and e-mails
    • Three broad exceptions to the ECPA
    • Private employers: Accessing e-mail an invasion of privacy?
    • Public employers: Accessing e-mail a constitutional violation?


    Chapter Three: Legal and Practical Considerations

    Learn how to dig deep into workplace allegations without hitting a legal sinkhole with this chapter on the risks built into investigations and the ways around them. You’ll understand how to execute a fair and effective investigation that protects your employer should the accusation under scrutiny ever make its way to court.

    • Who should investigate?
    • A prompt and thorough investigation
    • Tactical considerations: Immediate interim measures
    • Making an investigation plan
    • Taking notes, recording, or taping interviews
    • Witness interviews - general considerations
    • Sexual harassment investigations - special considerations
    • Disparate treatment and disparate impact
    • Special considerations - retaliation cases
    • Union settings: Labor law and Weingarten rights
    • Bonus: CD-ROM Provides Critical Investigation Samples, Documents, Forms, and More

      • The Definitive Workplace Investigation Checklist
      • Sample Complaint Form
      • Sample Investigation Plan
      • “Jack and Alice” - A Hypothetical Case Study of “He Said, She Said”
      • Sample Investigation Report - Pay Inequity Complaint
      • Sample Investigation Report - Sexual Harassment Complaint
      • Sample Investigation Report - Gender Discrimination
      • Complaint
      • Quizzes that tests your knowledge of the key components of an investigative report
      • Sample Letter Informing Accused of a Complaint
      • Four Ways to Respond to a Complaining Party at the End of an Investigation
      • Sample Letter Informing Accused of Disciplinary Action
      • State Law Guide: Disciplining an Employee for an Arrest or Conviction
      • State Law Guide: When It’s OK to Investigate an Employee’s Lawful Off-Duty Conduct


    About the Author

    Over the course of her 20+ year career, Jody Shipper has conducted literally hundreds of workplace investigations. Currently she is the Director of the Office of Equity and Diversity for the University of Southern California, where she investigates claims of harassment and discrimination brought by faculty, students, and staff. In that capacity she also provides advice on affirmative action and diversity efforts and trains staff and faculty on harassment and discrimination issues. Her previous work has included experience as a director of human resources, general counsel to a large California nonprofit agency, and as outside counsel on employment matters for a broad range of employers in California.

    In addition to litigating employment matters in state and federal courts, she has conducted and overseen countless investigations, lectured extensively on investigative procedures and employment
    law, and provided counsel to employers on risk management, employment practices, and legal compliance. She received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law
    in San Francisco, and her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.