How to Conduct an Internal Harassment and Bullying Investigation
Dr Susan Strauss Ed.D, is an international speaker, trainer, consultant and recognized expert on harassment. She also conducts harassment and workplace bullying investigations and functions as a consultant to attorneys as well as an expert witness in harassment lawsuits. Her clients are from education, business, healthcare, law and government organizations from both the public and private sector.
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The EEOC requires that employers receiving a complaint, or otherwise learning of alleged harassment in the workplace, to “investigate promptly and thoroughly…take immediate and appropriate corrective action by doing whatever is necessary to end the harassment, make the victim whole by restoring lost employment benefits or opportunities, and prevent the misconduct from recurring”. That’s a tall order to ensure a just and fair handling of a harassment complaint - an essential order that all organizations are required, by law, to follow. The investigation process is, perhaps, the most critical element in dealing with harassment. In cases that have gone to court it is often due to inadequate or absent investigations of complaints. Do you know how to conduct an investigation?
An investigation is essential in determining the validity to a complaint of protected class harassment and bullying. Conducting a fair and impartial investigation diminishes liability, and can decrease further misconduct by preventing it from becoming pervasive. By conducting its own investigation, the institution may avoid an investigation by another agency such as the EEOC. An investigation is required to help ensure a safe and healthy organizational climate. Anyone who conducts an investigation must be trained in how to do so. Merely having the experience of conducting investigations without having been taught the art and science of the process is not enough. When your organization ensures it is investigator is trained in how to conduct investigations, it demonstrates its commitment to prevention of harassment to the Court or outside agency.
In this program expert speaker Dr. Susan Strauss will cover the intricacies of conducting a harassment investigation in the workplace. Dr. Strauss will help you learn how to conduct an internal harassment and bullying investigation to determine facts and minimize liability. She will address laws that HR is responsible for upholding. Dr. Strauss will also explain how when the laws are not followed, it increases the liability for the organization and interferes with a fair and equitable work environment for employees.
• Determining if an investigation is necessary
• The steps of an investigation
• The intricacies of interviewing the accuser, accused and witnesses
• Differentiating between a formal and informal investigative procedure
• Determining credibility of all interviewees
• How to draw conclusions following an investigation
• Necessary elements in writing the formal report outlining the investigation
• If and when an investigation is required
• Comparing a formal and informal investigation process
• Planning for the investigation
• Review of what constitutes a witness
• Legal issues surrounding an investigation such as confidentiality, defamation of character, and false imprisonment
• The importance of documentation of each interviewee
• Examples of appropriate and inappropriate documentation and why it is critical
• Specific details regarding how to corroborate evidence
• List of criteria to determine credibility of those interviewed
• He said/she said
• The role of the investigator in forming an opinion following the investigation
• How to follow-up with the target, accused, and the organization
• The critical importance of an investigative report
• List of misconduct triggers that are a catalyst for an investigation
• Final report template
Who Should Attend
• Human Resources professionals – those tasked with investigations such as generalists, mangers, and directors
• HR Consultants
What You Get
Live Q&A Session with the Speaker
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