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Disciplinary and Harassment Investigations

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Public Agency
CATEGORY: Public Agency, Risk Management

This workbook is directed to supervisors and mid and upper-level managers who are responsible for investigating reported allegations or evidence of employee misconduct, including harassment. The purpose of an investigation is to gather all of the facts needed to make a determination as to what occurred or did not occur. This workbook is designed to provide a step-by-step guide for conducting an administrative investigation.

However, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore cautions that this information should not be viewed as a substitute for early evaluation whenever a complaint is received, and cannot replace the critically important assistance of legal counsel.

Topics Include:

  • Introduction
    • When Should an Investigation Be Conducted?
    • When There is a Possible Violation of a Standard of Conduct
    • When There is Alleged or Suspected Discrimination OR Harassment
    • Before the Investigation Begins
  • What Standard Does an Investigation Have to Meet?
  • Who Should Be Assigned to Conduct the Administrative Investigation?
    • Selecting the Right Person for the Job
    • When to Use an Outside Investigator
    • Investigator Determines the Facts
    • Using an Attorney to Conduct an Investigation
    • Using an Attorney to Direct a Third Party Investigation
    • Must an Outside Investigator Be a Licensed Private Investigator?
  • Beginning the Investigation
    • Preliminary Issues to Consider Prior to Starting the Investigation
    • When Do You Advise the Employee That He/She is the Subject of the Investigation?
    • What if the Subject Matter of the Investigation Relates to Criminal as Well as Administrative Misconduct?
    • Have a Good General Knowledge of Agency Policy Regarding the Conduct Alleged
  • Gathering the Facts
    • Create a Binder
    • Background Documents
    • Documentary and Physical Evidence
    • Interviews
    • Administrative Searches
    • Polygraphs
    • Access to and Use of Criminal Records
    • Concluding the Investigation
  • Evaluating the Facts
    • Review Your Investigation Binder
    • Make Factual Findings
    • Make Conclusions of Policy only– If Directed to Do So
  • Writing the Report
    • Contents of the Report
    • Attachments to the Report
    • Confidentiality of Investigation Report: How Much Can or Should Be Disclosed to the Complainant or the Accused?
  • Taking Corrective Action
    • Prompt and Effective Remedial Action
    • Type of Corrective Action

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