Essentials for Documenting Investigations: HR and Management’s Responsibility to Minimize Liability
  • CODE : SUST-0054
  • Duration : 60 Minutes
  • Level : Intermediate
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Dr. Susan Strauss is a national and international speaker, trainer, consultant and a recognized expert on workplace and school harassment and bullying. She has served on organizational Workplace Violence Task Forces and facilitated workplace violence training sessions for management and employees. She conducts harassment and bullying investigations and functions as an expert witness in harassment and bullying lawsuits. Her clients are from business, education, healthcare, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sectors.

Dr. Strauss has conducted research, written over 30 books, book chapters, and journal articles on harassment, bullying, and related topics. She has been featured on 20/20, CBS Evening News and other television and radio programs as well as interviewed for newspaper and journal articles such as Harvard Education Newsletter, Lawyers Weekly and Times of London.

Susan has a doctorate in organizational leadership. She is a registered nurse, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and counseling, a master’s degree in community health, and a professional certificate in training and development. She has been involved in workplace violence and the harassment and bullying arena since 1985.

This webinar has been approved for 1.00 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, aPHRi™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™, and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). Please make note of the activity ID number on your recertification application form. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at

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As the saying goes - If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen! Documentation is essential for many legal issues, disputes, audits, meetings, and decision making, to name a few. Perhaps nowhere is it more critical than when documenting your investigation. Your documentation memoralizes the entire investigation, it minimizes confusion, corroborates stories and evidence, demonstrates patterns of behavior and supports your final decision. Investigative documentation is critical enough that it may prevent a lawsuit, or at least minimize damages. Your documentation is evidence of action taken in response to a complaint. 

Documentation must start from the beginning of your investigation when you receive a complaint, and continue throughout the investigative process. The documentation will include the intricacies of your interviews with the accuser, the accused, and witnesses, as well as which documents you accessed (and how to cite them) in making your final decision. The final report, which all investigations require, is a culmination of all the documentation of your investigation, which is discoverable if an employee files a formal charge with the EEOC or your state’s human rights department, or if you are sued. A number of critical actions are required as part of your investigation such as determining credibility of each interviewee, corroborating evidence and reaching a conclusion all which require documentation of your rationale for each step. In order to write a thorough report, investigators must make a decision as to whether the investigated misconduct was a violation of any laws or policies and document these findings in an objective, accurate and concise manner  and document how your decision was arrived at. 

Learning Objectives

  • To plan the investigation documentation process
  • To identify documentation requirements for an investigation to reduce liability
  • To document the rationale behind your investigative opinions such as how you determined credibility and reached conclusions
  • To determine appropriate documentation technique related to resources accessed online and hard copy resources
  • To list the Do’s and Dont’s of documenting the investigation
  • To discuss the documentation elements of the final report

Who Should Attend

  • Human Resources professionals, attorneys, consultants

Why Should You Attend

To ensure your documentation of the investigation is complete, objective, and inclusive of the investigative process and outcome, and demonstrates the organization’s response  to the complaint was fair, impartial, and competent which minimizes liability.

Key Words

Investigation, Documentation, Investigative Process, How to document an investigation, How to document a harassment investigation, Documenting a harassment investigation

  • $149.00

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