Conducting a Workplace Harassment Investigation: Techniques to Determine Facts and Minimize Liability (2-Hour Boot Camp)

    /Dr. Susan  /Strauss RN Ed.Dspeaker of Training Doyensinvite
    Speaker: Dr. Susan Strauss RN Ed.D


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    Duration: 120 Minutes
    Product Code: 50845
    Level: Intermediate
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OVERVIEW

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 internal 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 conduct a bullying investigation. 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 constitute illegal discrimination or harassment.
The courts have opined that organizations must prevent internal harassment by developing a harassment and bullying policy and intervene on harassment complaints. The employer is required to demonstrate what it has done for workplace harassment prevention.

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 conduct a workplace investigation —this also demonstrates prevention.

WHY SHOULD YOU ATTEND

Even if you have been doing investigations for years — if you have never been trained, how do you know if you are conducting them correctly to prevent liability, determine the accuracy of the complaint, corroborate evidence, determine credibility, and form an opinion?

This program will cover the intricacies of EEOC harassment law, and will help you learn how to conduct a workplace investigation.

AREAS COVERED

  • Discussion about if and when a harassment or bullying 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

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The attendees will learn

  • To determine if a harassment or bullying investigation is necessary
  • To discuss the steps of an investigation and what is employee harassment act
  • 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

WHO WILL BENEFIT

  • Human Resources Specialists
  • Attorneys
  • HR Consultants
  • Those tasked with investigations such as Generalists, Mangers, and Directors

SPEAKER

Years of Experience: 52+ years

Areas of Expertise: Workplace Harassment, Organization Development, and Management/Leadership Development

Dr. Susan Strauss RN Ed.D. is a national and international speaker, trainer and consultant. Her specialty areas include education and workplace harassment, discrimination and bullying; organization development, and management/leadership development. Her clients are from healthcare, education, business, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sector.  Susan conducts bullying and harassment investigations, works as an expert witness for education and workplace harassment and bullying lawsuits, and coaches those managers and employees that need assistance in stopping their harassing or bullying behavior.

Dr. Strauss has authored over 30 books, book chapters, and articles.  Susan has been featured on 20/20, CBS Evening News, and other national and international television and radio programs as well as interviewed for newspaper and journal articles such as the Times of London, Lawyers Weekly, and Harvard Education Newsletter

Susan has presented at international conferences in Botswana, Egypt, Thailand, Israel, Palestine, Bali, Lebanon, and the U.S., and conducted sex discrimination research in Poland.  She has consulted with professionals from other countries such as Israel, England, Australia, Canada and St. Maartin. In addition to nursing education, she has her masters in community health and holds a doctorate in organizational leadership.

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