Home » How to Conduct Proper Workplace Misconduct Investigations

How to Conduct Proper Workplace Misconduct Investigations

10 (No. 6)
How to Conduct Proper Workplace Misconduct Investigations
In this environment of increased discrimination
claims, conducting prompt and legally effective investigations into workplace misconduct claims is
now a requirement for employers that wish to best
protect their organizations. While you may not be
able to stop a lawsuit, you can do your best to show
that your organization took a complaint seriously,
followed established and consistent procedures to investigate it, and applied appropriate standards to
determine the employer’s actions.
During a session at the 2010 SHRM Employment
Law & Legislative Conference, Denise Kay, an attorney and president of Employment Practices Solutions, pointed out that poorly handled complaints
and terminations are common causes of many employment suits, including wrongful discharge and
Kay, who performs workplace investigations,
warned that getting investigations right not only
saves legal exposure, but money. She said 20 percent
of all discrimination verdicts are valued at over $1
million, including class action and retaliation suits.
The latter has seen “dramatic increases” in filings,
she said, and you can expect to see more of it—and
such lawsuits have no damages caps.
Investigation is a requirement. “You must investigate a claim,” Kay said. Why? “It could be true,”
and could be especially damning if the problem is between a supervisor and a direct report. Kay said employers tht don’t investigating every claim could lose
possible defenses in court, see the company’s objectivity questioned, harm the trust employees have in
the organization, and have fair and equal treatment
of all questioned.
Kay urged employers to investigate even if the
complainant reneges on the complaint. “You are obligated as an employer to investigate a potential discriminatory act.” She said this is the determination
of the U.S. Supreme Court in what is now known as
the Faragher /Ellerth defense, based on the court’s
rulings in two major cases that dealt with employer
actions after receiving workplace misconduct complaints. If a complainant backs down, investigate and
be sure to document why the investigation was not
done earlier, she said.
The situation can become very difficult for HR
professionals if the alleged aggressor is a senior
manager and you are told not to investigate, Kay
said. “The employer has a duty to look into it: call it
fact finding, if it makes the executives more comfortable,” she said. “Consider the consequences of not
looking into it.” Some HR professionals may be
forced to leave the employer if their ethics do not
agree with those of the company, she observed. If it
is not possible for HR to investigate, Kay said it may
be helpful to use an outside investigator (for instance, if your own boss is the alleged aggressor).
How do you know if you need to investigate? Kay
suggested first going to your employee handbook to
see if your business policy mandates an investigation. Other considerations include the seriousness of
the complaint, who is implicated, whether the complainant is a member of a protected class, if there is
or has been more than a single complaint, and if you
see potential litigation under the circumstances.
Courts generally believe you should investigate
any complaint related to harassment, discrimination,
theft, substance abuse, violence, internet and e-mail
use, insubordination, ethics, or finances.
Kay explained that confidentially imparted information, informal information, or even a rumor can
be considered a complaint. “Don’t force someone to
put a complaint in writing before you look into it.” A
complaint is any of the foregoing that is made to
anyone in HR or anyone at a management or supervisory level or higher.
(No. 6) 11
Investigation considerations. Kay cited cases
where courts made it clear that they have little tolerance for employers that excuse bad behavior. Inhouse investigations can be conducted by HR, an inhouse lawyer, someone in management, or someone
in an audit, risk, or ethics department, she said. Outside investigators can include outside legal counsel
or a consultant. Where appropriate, you may need to
bring in experts in medical, accounting, or safety.
Kay said there are more legal challenges about
the investigator these days. The investigator must
have a thorough understanding of the law and the
organization’s policies, procedures, practices and
rules, as well as knowing about investigation practices and techniques. Discretion and maintaining
confidentiality to the greatest degree possible are
key, as well as the ability to be fair and objective, she
said. The ability to perform well on a v«tness stand
if the claim should end up in court is also a desirable
Assistance from legal counsel or a trained investigator can be especially useful when sometimes
sticky situations arise, according to Kay. When
employees/witnesses to workplace misconduct have
“lawyered up” or you even hear that they have, ask
your attorney to verify that notification of representation has been received, Kay suggested.
“Your duty is to proceed with the investigation if
you are a non-lav^^yer doing the investigation,” Kay
explained. “However, if you are a lawyer—even a
non-practicing one—consider whether you should
proceed” under these circumstances, she said. A
number of issues could come into play, including corporate rules, union rules, and so forth.
So, you may want to consult vdth counsel before
proceeding on your own, Kay stated. If it is determined that the witness’ attorney can attend your
discussion with the witness, that attorney is constrained in certain activities (no objections, no interruptions, no right to receive copies of documents,
etc.). The viatness’ lawyer can refuse to allow his/her
client to participate, but the employer retains the
duty to investigate, whether or not the company has
the cooperation of a complainant or victim.
HR Focus Calendar
Best Practices in Succession Management,
Chicago, June 10-11. Contact: Linkage,
781 -402-5555; http://www.linkageinc.com
Leadership Development Conference, San
Diego, June 10-11. Contact: The Conference Board, 212-339-0345; http://
Today’s HR: Designs for Strategic Partnerships, Washington, D.C, June 10-11. Contact: Linkage, 781-402-5555; http://
62nd SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition, San Diego, June 27-30. Contact: Society for Human Resource Management,
800-283-7476; [email protected]; http://
Design and Implement Succession Management Systems, Washington, D.C, July 20.
Contact: Linkage, 781-402-5555; http://
Organizaf/on Design Conference, New York
City, Sept. 20 to Oct. 1. Contact: The Conference Board, 212-339-0345; http://
63rd Annual PSCA Conference and Exhibition, Amelia Island, FL, Sept. 21-24. Contact: Profit Sharing/401 (k) Council of
America, 312-419-1863; http://
23rd Annual Benefits Forum & Expo, Boca
Raton, FL., Sept. 26-28. Contact: Employee
Benefit News, 800-966-3976; http://
SHRM Strategy Conference, San Antonio,
Oct. 6-8. Contact: Society for Human Resource Management, 800-283-7476;
[email protected]; http://www.shrm.org
HRFOCUS ISSN 1059-6038 BNA June 2010
Copyright of HR Focus is the property of Institute of Management & Administration and its content may not be
copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written
permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
How to Conduct Proper Workplace Misconduct Investigations
Just from $9/Page
Order Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment Help Service Works

1. Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2. Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3. Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4. Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essay GET A PERFECT SCORE!!! smile and order essay Buy Custom Essay

Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more
error: Content is protected !!
Open chat
Need assignment help? You can contact our live agent via WhatsApp using +1 718 717 2861

Feel free to ask questions, clarifications, or discounts available when placing an order.
  +1 718 717 2861           + 44 161 818 7126           [email protected]
  +1 718 717 2861         [email protected]