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Who should attend How to Conduct a Workplace Harassment, Bullying & Violence Investigations Training
Planning for the investigation.Sample interview questions provided for the target, the accused and witnesses
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Planning for the investigation.Sample interview questions provided for the target, the accused and witnesses

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Seminar Summary:

The courts have opined that organizations must prevent and intervene on harassment complaints. The employer is required to demonstrate what it has done to prevent harassment. (see full course description)

 
 
 

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Training Course Syllabus:


How to Conduct a Workplace Harassment, Bullying & Violence Investigations Training

The EEOC requires that employers receiving a complaint, or otherwise learning of alleged harassment in the workplace, “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 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.

While there is no such legal requirement for instances of bullying (in which the definition varies widely), it is at the organization’s peril to not investigate bullying complaints. Employees and their attorneys are using various tort laws to bring action against their employer. Additionally, it is possible that an incident of “bullying” may be motivated by the target’s protected class and constitutes illegal discrimination or harassment.
The courts have opined that organizations must prevent and intervene on harassment complaints. The employer is required to demonstrate what it has done to prevent harassment. Not only is conducting an investigation a prevention and intervention tactic, but the HR professional tasked with conducting an investigation should be trained in how to do so—this also demonstrates prevention.

Learning Objectives:

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 differentiate between a formal and informal investigative procedures
To determine credibility and reach a conclusion following an investigation
To write a formal report outlining the investigation

Course Outline:

Discussion about if and when an investigation is required
Comparison of a formal and informal investigation process
Planning for the investigation
Sample interview questions provided for the target, the accused and witnesses
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
The elements of an investigative report to minimize liability

DAY 01(8:30 AM - 4:30 PM)

Registration Process - (8:30 am till 8:45 am)
How to Conduct Harassment and Bullying Investigations:
08:45 am - 10:00 am
Introductions
Overview of the 1 ½ days
Introduction to Investigations
Legal Issues of Investigations
Characteristics of an investigator
Case Study – “The Phone Call”
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Interviewing – who, when, how, what, where
Case Study – “Taking the Complaint”
Cast Study – “Interviewing the Accused”
11:30 am - 12:00 noon
The Cast of Characters, Identifying Witnesses
Determining formal or informal complaint resolution
12:00 - 01:00 pm Lunch
01:00 pm - 02:30 pm
More on Witnesses – who, what, where, when, how
Case Study – “Interviewing Witnesses
02:30 pm - 04:00 pm
Decisions, Lots of Decisions
Documentation – protecting yourself and your employer
Case Study – “Witness Interviewing, continued)
04:00 - 04:30 pm
Summary of day
Questions
Wrap-up

DAY 02(8:30 AM - 12:30 PM)

08:30 am - 09:00 am Meet & Greet
Overview of Day 1
Questions regarding Day 1
09:00 am - 10:30 am
More on Legal Issues
Determining Credibility
Drawing Conclusions
Case Study – “The Decision”
10:30 am - Noon
Writing the Final Report
Appeals
Making the Victim “Whole”
Consequences to Accused
Next Steps After Investigation

Seminar Summary:

The courts have opined that organizations must prevent and intervene on harassment complaints. The employer is required to demonstrate what it has done to prevent harassment. (see full course description)

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