Do you know how to conduct a lawful investigation?
The objective of an internal investigation is to discover facts on which to make a sensible and lawful decision. Done correctly, an investigation should resolve a problem and prevent it from re-occurring, whether the issue is misconduct, a performance situation, harassment, discrimination or a workplace accident.
In addition to saving potentially millions of dollars in litigation costs and lost productivity, a lawfully conducted investigation can nip workplace problems in the bud, thus keeping businesses operating smoothly-and out of court.
Making the right decision often turns on the quality of the investigation that has been conducted. Without the facts, decision-making is flawed and can expose the employer to significant liability.
This uniquely interactive and comprehensive program will provide investigators with a framework of legal and best practices knowledge and will give you the confidence, skills and techniques needed to properly conduct an effective investigation.
Over the course of 2 days, you will actively engage in detailed, “real time” investigations as the attorney-instructor guides you through the investigatory process; giving important pointers and recommendations throughout. Participants will learn how to handle complaints legally by gaining actual experience in interviewing witnesses and evaluating evidence. By going through the process of conducting several types of investigations everyone will be able to use their newly acquired skills through interaction with classmates and the attorney-instructor. This interaction will help build confidence and will embed the learning.
After completing this course you will have learned:
- How to recognize workplace situations that require an investigation
- How to develop an investigation plan
- How to collect and record evidence
- The rights of the parties involved in an investigation
- How to identify and interview the plaintiff, witnesses and the respondent
- How to assemble statements and write a thorough and defensible report
- When and what information can, and should, be released to the involved parties
- How to make recommendations about next steps after the investigation is complete
How You Will Benefit
- Learn step-by-step guidelines for investigating any complaint
- Be proactive and avoid the legal pitfalls of investigations
- Know what steps to take to minimize your liability
- Understand what sexual harassment is-and what it isn’t
- Get a realistic view of the timing of investigations
- Get beneficial advice on handling evidence
- Keep your work force running smoothly during and after an investigation
- Guard against retaliation and subsequent inappropriate misconduct
Please note, events may be cancelled due to commercial or organisational reasons. In this case Research and Markets will refund all registration fees which have already been paid. Research and Markets will not refund any charges arising from the participant having to cancel or re-book transportation or accommodation which he or she has arranged.
During the program, the following scenarios will be discussed:
Sexual Harassment: A manager seeks to become romantically involved with a subordinate and is turned down. This investigation will be on both how to investigate the details of “at-work” and “away-from-work” circumstances that also involves retaliation after the complaint is handled by HR.
Medical Leave: A supervisor is concerned about an employee who took medical leave during a large project, leaving the work group short-handed. The investigation includes a discussion of medical and leave issues and the limits that may apply; as well as dealing with medical information that is, by nature, confidential. This investigation also involves an analysis of whether the employee should have received a needed accommodation upon returning to work.
Ethics Violation: An employee notifies HR that a co-worker is profiting from a relationship with a vendor and is also misusing corporate funds regarding the entertainment of the vendor.
Threat of Violence: There is a rumor that an employee has a gun in their car, they might be dangerous and they may have threatened another employee. You will learn how to conduct this investigation when the threatened employee doesn’t wish to talk about it.
Equal Pay: A female manager believes she is being paid less than a number of similar male managers. The investigatory aspects of this scenario are complicated both factually and legally as evaluating pay differences is quite complicated. During this investigation we will explore issues of attorney client privilege, the line between investigations and audits, and the risks of creating investigative reports that include recommendations for compliance actions.
Credibility: This is a fact investigation where issues of credibility are crucial to the findings in the investigation. Many investigators are hesitant to make credibility determinations, but such determinations are legitimate and important.
Using and Acquiring Evidence via Social Media: We will conduct an investigation where the evidence is mostly in the form of social media, which means that the exercise will focus on how to use social media to obtain evidence, what the limits are on privacy and social media and how to discuss social media evidence with witnesses in the investigation.
Mr Gavin S. Appleby,
Littler Mendelson, P.C.
Gavin S. Appleby, Esq. is a Shareholder with the law firm of Littler Mendelson, P.C. in Atlanta where he advises and represents employers in a broad range of employment law matters. He has been consistently rated as an IAML "all-star" instructor for more than 20 years. He has been named in Best Lawyers in America, Employment & Labor-Management, Atlanta every year since 2010. Mr. Appleby presents at many IAML seminars including the Certificate in Conducting Lawful Workplace Investigations Seminar, the Certificate in Making Employment Workplace Decisions Workshop, the Certificate in Employee Relations Law Seminar, and numerous in-house programs and webinars. Participants appreciate how he combines his legal skills with practical insights into workplace issues.
Mr. Appleby's focus ranges from defending single plaintiff and class action employment cases to advising on and litigating wage and hour matters and handling OSHA issues. He also has significant experience in union avoidance, defending union campaigns, handling arbitrations and mediations, and conducting investigations. He is nationally known for his employment law and diversity training, as well as for developing legally-defensible diversity programs. He received his B.A. degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College and his J.D. degree from the University of Virginia where he was a member of the national Moot Court Team. Mr. Appleby is a member of the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Georgia. He lectures extensively throughout the country and has written a number of published articles on employment and labor law issues. He is also the co-author of a text on pre-employment testing. He is also a Member of the Anti-Doping Review Board - International Tennis Federation, ATP Tour and WTA Tour.
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