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HR on Trial: Preparing HR as a Litigation Witness & Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations

KSBranigan Law has developed a cutting-edge Investigation Workshop as a tool to assist organizations in navigating a variety of complex challenges that arise when handling employment complaints and conducting investigations. It is designed to foster effective, culturally competent, and bias-free investigations.

The Workshop is targeted toward individuals in human resources, legal, compliance, and leadership roles to help them avoid common pitfalls. The attendees are educated on practices and protocols designed to withstand scrutiny in litigation and help organizations successfully remediate complaints.

The Workshop includes a three-act role play in which the trainers act out the weaknesses that can occur in the investigative process. The role play demonstrates areas of vulnerability and is broken down into the following Acts:

  • Act One demonstrates the HR professional interviewing the complainant and alleged harasser;

  • Act Two involves a mock deposition of the HR professional; and

  • Act Three displays a mock cross-examination of the HR professional at trial.

The Workshop encompasses an overview of legal updates, landscapes, and trends, and the following key areas:

  • Trained, impartial, fair, and culturally competent investigators

  • Implicit/unconscious bias undermining investigations

  • Recognizing and preventing retaliatory actions

  • Attorney-client/attorney work product privileges

  • Proper responses to complaints/concerns raised

  • Compliant confidentiality instructions

  • Microaggressions/microaffirmations

  • Trauma-informed interviewing techniques

  • Triggers to investigations

The Workshop reviews the investigation steps, such as:

  • Planning the investigation

  • Selecting the investigation tools and preserving evidence

  • Conducting the interviews

  • Assessing credibility

  • Analyzing evidence

  • Reaching a conclusion

  • Documenting the investigation

  • Communicating the results and monitoring