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HR Investigations 101: The Basics For How To Conduct Workplace Investigations

Webinar: ID# 1038183
Recorded On-Demand
About This Course:
Let's face it: most HR and Employee Relations professionals are dealing with a lot of employee complaints, almost every day. Here is just a quick snapshot of some of them:
  • "He's harassing me..."
  • "My work environment is extremely hostile..."
  • "She's a bully..."
  • "I'm not one of my boss's 'favorites', so I didn't get..."
  • "I didn't get the promotion because I'm..."
  • "He's just retaliating against me..."
  • "That write-up I got was so not fair...the only reason I got written up was because..."
And on and on it goes! Today, HR has become the place where everyone wants to complain - and they do so frequently.

This is a problem on so many levels; however, the biggest problem is that most HR professionals have not had the proper training in how to conduct investigations. So, when an employee calls HR to complain - what are you supposed to do?

The 'fly by the seat of one's pants' approach of just grabbing a notepad and then calling one witness after the other is most definitely not the best process. When the HR professional lacks knowledge in handling complaints and conducting investigations, the employer is at much greater risk for violating federal, state, and in some instances even local laws.

Unbeknown to many, there even can be personal liability for the HR investigator for failing to do a proper investigation. The way to minimize those risks, and the costs associated with mishandling an employee's allegations, is in having a basic understanding of what an investigation is - and how to conduct one - so register today!What You'll Learn:
  • Identify the most common types of internal investigations
  • Examine how to ask questions and determine the seriousness in employee complaints to identify if an investigation is necessary
  • Identify how to obtain and document a statement of complaint
  • Recognize the legal obligations that require employers to conduct internal investigations
  • Identify why documentary and physical evidence is critical
  • Evaluate some very basic principles in preparing for witness interviews
  • Establish a chain of custody and a confidential retention process
  • Analyze physical, digital, documentary, and testimonial evidence to identify policies and/or laws that have been violated
  • Examine a simple format for documenting investigative findings
  • Review best practices in handling disciplinary action and terminations to avoid stepping on legal land mines

Top FAQs

An "internal" or "workplace" investigation is a formal inquiry regarding allegations of wrongdoing to determine whether laws or corporate policies have been violated.
Employers must know the legal obligations that require them to conduct internal investigations, how to gather documentary and physical evidence, how to effectively handle witness interviews, and how to apply discipliary action or termination.
Common law, retaliation, Assault & Battery, Defamation, Privacy, and more.
Respond promptly and responsibly, assess, plan, investigate, evaluate, conclude.
Several, including hostile or violent employees, retaliation lawsuits, state or federal repurcussions from broken laws, and affects on your workforce.
Probably the largest pitfall is the reaction of your employees, especially if the investigation is handled poorly. For instance, the company does not investigate theft allegations, tells the accused details from an accuser's accusations, and loss of profits and reputation.
Continuing Education Credits:

Click the 'Credits' tab above for information on PHR/SPHR, PDCs, and other CE credits offered by taking this course.
HR Investigations 101: The Basics For How To Conduct Workplace Investigations
or via On-Demand
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