"workplace investigations" Blog Tag

List 10 Up: How to investigate employee complaints

September 5th, 2019

Kelly Cardin at Ogeltree Deakins


You need to take 20 minutes and listen to this podcast.

Because an employee is going to complain. And you are going to have investigate. And this is how you should do it.

Here are your List 10 Up reasons to listen up to what Kelly Cardin has to say:

  1. Do I have to investigate?
  2. What's it (the complaint) all about?
  3. Preliminary plan of action
  4. Interviews - who, what, when, where
  5. Summarize back
  6. Confidentiality and retaliation
  7. Gather don't disseminate
  8. Facts not legal analysis
  9. Anything else I should know?
  10. Retaliation and confidentiality (yes, again and again and again)

Seriously, listen now.

How to Address an Unflattering Video of an Employee

January 25th, 2019

Robin Shea at Constangy

If it hasn't happened yet, there is a good chance that one of your employees will show up in a posted video in a less than flattering light, and that light is going to reflect on your company.

Days past, you would have taken the video at face value and determined disciplinary actions, maybe even termination, based solely on the video.

Knee-jerk doesn't work any more. Maybe now it is KnoW-jerk, as in know the employee is no jerk. And video, especially just a snippet, doesn't always tell the whole story.

Robin Shea helps you address the situation with a PR statement you should keep close at hand.

Written warnings and the FAQs they spawn

February 6th, 2019

Ursula A. Kienbaum at Ogletree Deakins

written warning:  noun:  ritˈ'n wôrniNG

  1. a statement in a form to be read that indicates a possible or impending problem, or other unpleasant situation
  2. a statement in a form to be read that indicates that you have already vented and calmed down and aren't going to write anything stupid before you create a very unpleasant situation for the person receiving said warning

Ursula Kienbaum helps you create a calm, dispassionate, effective, reasonable written warning by answering these seven FAQs:

  • what to include?
  • what to exclude?
  • attach documents?
  • mention previous warnings/actions?
  • detail impact of the problem?
  • include possible further disciplinary action??
  • does the warning change if there is a union involved?

So you have not CHARGED forward spewing and waving, but instead have taken a deep breath, straightened your spine, not panicked, asked the right questions (if not, please see Step 1 Don't panic, ask questions) then went Kim Possible and asked more questions (if not again, please see Step 2 Go Kim Possible for the investigation phase).

Well done. Now time to find if the EEOC for cause or no cause because that is what they do. Regardless, which is kind of unfair to the EEOC cause they are just doing their job, you aren't finished:

  • A no cause finding! So that's it?
  • A cause finding! Now what?

If you are a skip-to-the-last-page reader, it really is worth going back and picking up the first two steps.

Step 1 Don't panic, ask questions

Step 2 Go Kim Possible for the investigation phase

So you have not CHARGED forward spewing and waving, but instead have taken a deep breath, straightened your spine, not panicked and asked the right questions (if not, please see Step 1 Don't panic, ask questions). Well done. Now time to go all Kim Possible for the investigation phase by answering more questions:

  • So the parties did not resolve the charge at mediation. Now what?
  • What are the best practices for responding to the charge?
  • What if the EEOC requests additional information?

See Step 1 if you skipped it above and then to Step 3.

Step 1 Don't panic, ask questions

Step 3 Cause or no cause, because you gotta do something

Discrimination CHARGE! – Step 1 Don't panic, ask questions

November 28th, 2018

Kristin Gray at FordHarrison

When you receive a charge of discrimination, take a deep breath, straighten that spine and DO NOT respond by CHARGING! forward cursing and waving your arms while proclaiming your innocence.

Don't panic. You and 84,254 (2017 numbers) other employers have or will share the same sense of shock, misery and a slight stomach drop this year. Kristin Gray will calmly walk you through the three steps you need to take. This first step is to find the answers to some important questions:  

  • Who is the EEOC?
  • Is my business covered?
  • Is the charge timely?
  • How should I respond to a request to mediate?

And then on to Steps 2 and 3.

Step 2 Go Kim Possible for the investigation phase

Step 3 Cause or no cause, because you gotta do something


Cursing, surfing, weapons, gadgets – illegal, inappropriate or OK?

November 1st, 2018

Robin Shea at Constangy

It happens in almost every workplace almost every day: somebody swears or is on an iffy website or is carrying a knife (or worse) or is using their own (not secure) phone or computer to send off a quick business email or text.

So what is illegal, what is inappropriate and what is just not that a big a deal?

Robin Shea at Constangy has your answers (and answers your questions) at our November 14 webinar, “Not Suitable for Work?”

Credits available: SHRM and HRCI

Register here.

TN – A drug-free workplace program is good

March 12th, 2019

William S. Rutchow at Ogletree Deakins

Recent changes to the Tennessee Drug-Free Workplace Program can mean saving money on workers' comp, among other benefits, but requires meeting certain criteria. Bill Rutchow explains other benefits and some of the significant changes.