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Conducting Workplace Investigations Effectively and Legally
HRCI: 2.0 Credits
SHRM: 2.0 PDCs

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Even the best-managed workplaces will at some point face situations requiring investigation.  Improperly conducted workplace investigations can be costly, both in terms of resulting litigation and a decline in profitability due to any disruption in operations, decreases in employee morale, and negative publicity.  Conversely, well-conducted investigations nip workplace problems in the bud, thus keeping businesses operating smoothly—and out of court.

This course explains clearly the regulations governing the workplace, identifies situations requiring investigation, provides instruction on how to conduct investigations effectively and legally from start to finish, and explains methods of resolving workplace disputes internally.

Managers, Supervisors & HR Professionals

105-120 minutes

The purpose of this course is to help the learner identify situations that require an internal investigation and to provide guidance for an effective and legally compliant response to workplace complaints, behaviors, or incidents.

After completing this course, the learner will be able:

  • recognize workplace situations that require an internal investigation and associate these with the applicable laws;
  • summarize and implement elements of an effective internal investigation, and determine its scope;
  • confirm details of an incident, discern legally compliant interim actions, and choose an investigator;
  • conduct effective interviews of all parties involved;
  • evaluate the credibility of an interviewee and summarize the investigation upon its conclusion; and
  • differentiate between the three basic forms of alternative dispute resolution--mediation, arbitration, and peer review--and ascertain when and how each can be used to implement a workplace conflict resolution system.

1. An Overview of the Laws and Regulations Governing the Workplace

2. The Keys to Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations

3. The Steps to Take Before an Investigation

  • Knowing When to Investigate
  • Choosing the Right Investigator
  • Planning the Investigation

4. How to Conduct the Investigation

  • Taking Interim Action
  • Interviewing Witnesses

5. How to Conclude the Investigation

  • Writing Reports
  • Making Recommendations

6. Resolving Complaints Using Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods

  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Peer review


  • ADR Comparison Chart
  • Employee Complaint Response Memo
  • Initial Incident Report
  • Internal Investigation vs. Informal Resolution Flowchart

HRCI logoThis Activity has been approved for 2.0 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, aPHRi™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). The use of this official seal confirms that this Activity has met HR Certification Institute's® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

SHRM logoThis Activity has been approved for 2.0 PDCs toward SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® recertification. The Human Equation is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® recertification activities.