Workplace Investigations: The HR Manager's Step-by-Step Guide

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Your Challenge: Investigate an employee’s complaint of harassment, discrimination, or other workplace conflict in a way that protects your organization from legal liability and resolves the situation to the satisfaction of all parties, including the C-suite.

BLR’s Solution: Workplace Investigations: The HR Manager’s Step-By-Step Guide, the comprehensive instruction manual and sample document disc that eliminates the guesswork and streamlines the process, walking you from initial complaint through drafting your final report.


Workplace Investigations: The HR Manager’s Step-By-Step Guide contains everything you need to get to the bottom of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and many other claims, all in one easy-to-use reference. Plus, you get a bonus CD loaded with investigation forms, checklists, sample reports, and other documents critical to the execution of a safe and effective investigation. You get:

  • Step-by-step instructions that walk you through each phase of the workplace investigation — from taking the complaint to writing your final report
  • Warnings on legal hotspots, so your investigation stays compliant every step of the way
  • Advice on how to manage the participants involved in an investigation: the complainant, witnesses, in-house counsel and senior management
  • Easy-to-follow explanation of the legal aspects of a workplace investigation, so you can explain your decisions to others
  • Painless steps to gathering relevant documents and drafting an ironclad final report
  • BONUS: A CD packed with prepared checklists and sample forms you can use in any internal investigation

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Preliminary Considerations
Key to a successful investigation is understanding the limit of what it can accomplish, the risks and potential rewards, and the alternatives. The opening chapter delivers a clear explanation of these issues and helps you make critical decisions at the outset, before you’ve invested time and money in your investigation.

  • To investigate or not - that is the question
  • Unexpected benefits of a good investigation
  • The danger of failing to investigate
  • What are you investigating?

Chapter Two: Workplace Searches

When conducting an investigation involving any kind of workplace search, you’re up against competing obligations. This chapter explains how to overcome this challenge,
and find the evidence you need to get to the truth without violating employee privacy rights. You’ll gain skills and methods for uncovering essential information, and protect
your organization against charges of apathy, negligence, or worse.

  • Searching desks and offices
  • Can a workplace computer be private?
  • Eavesdropping and monitoring calls and e-mails
  • Three broad exceptions to the ECPA
  • Private employers: Accessing e-mail an invasion of privacy?
  • Public employers: Accessing e-mail a constitutional violation?

Chapter Three: Legal and Practical Considerations

Learn how to dig deep into workplace allegations without hitting a legal sinkhole with this chapter on the risks built into investigations and the ways around them. You’ll understand how to execute a fair and effective investigation that protects your employer should the accusation under scrutiny ever make its way to court.

    • Who should investigate?
    • A prompt and thorough investigation
    • Tactical considerations: Immediate interim measures
    • Making an investigation plan
    • Taking notes, recording, or taping interviews
    • Witness interviews - general considerations
    • Sexual harassment investigations - special considerations
    • Disparate treatment and disparate impact
    • Special considerations - retaliation cases
    • Union settings: Labor law and Weingarten rights

Bonus: CD-ROM Provides Critical Investigation Samples, Documents, Forms, and More

    • The Definitive Workplace Investigation Checklist
    • Sample Complaint Form
    • Sample Investigation Plan
    • “Jack and Alice” - A Hypothetical Case Study of “He Said, She Said”
    • Sample Investigation Report - Pay Inequity Complaint
    • Sample Investigation Report - Sexual Harassment Complaint
    • Sample Investigation Report - Gender Discrimination
    • Complaint
    • Quizzes that tests your knowledge of the key components of an investigative report
    • Sample Letter Informing Accused of a Complaint
    • Four Ways to Respond to a Complaining Party at the End of an Investigation
    • Sample Letter Informing Accused of Disciplinary Action
    • State Law Guide: Disciplining an Employee for an Arrest or Conviction
    • State Law Guide: When It’s OK to Investigate an Employee’s Lawful Off-Duty Conduct
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