"Conducting Internal Investigation Checklist Template - Bullivant Houser Bailey"

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Checklist for Conducting Internal Investigation
Yes
No
Have you received a formal complaint, or do you suspect or have
informal knowledge that an informal misconduct has occurred?
If yes, initiate an investigation.
Consider consulting with an attorney:
To discuss strategy for investigation
q
To review proposed questions
q
To ensure laws, policies, procedures met
q
Is there a need for precautionary measures (e.g., safety concerns,
continued misconduct)?
If yes, take immediate action.
Place accused on immediate leave with pay
q
Temporary transfer
q
Changed supervisory responsibilities
q
Identify potential witnesses.
Create an investigation file that includes the following:
The investigation plan
q
Documentation of what investigative steps have been taken, when and
q
by whom
Explanation of any significant departures from the investigation plan
q
Copies of documents, photos and other hard evidence
q
Witness statements and notes of witness interviews
q
The final investigative report
q
Gather pertinent documents, including:
Personal file of accused, which may identify any past complaints and
q
outcomes or possible motives
Company policies, directives or contract provisions that may apply
q
Other relevant documents (e.g., attendance records, production
q
records, customer order forms, etc.)
Retrieve e-mail, if permissible (including deleted e-mail).
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RODUCT OF
ULLIVANT
OUSER
AILEY
DO NOT REPRODUCE WIT HOUT PERMISSION
Checklist for Conducting Internal Investigation
Yes
No
Have you received a formal complaint, or do you suspect or have
informal knowledge that an informal misconduct has occurred?
If yes, initiate an investigation.
Consider consulting with an attorney:
To discuss strategy for investigation
q
To review proposed questions
q
To ensure laws, policies, procedures met
q
Is there a need for precautionary measures (e.g., safety concerns,
continued misconduct)?
If yes, take immediate action.
Place accused on immediate leave with pay
q
Temporary transfer
q
Changed supervisory responsibilities
q
Identify potential witnesses.
Create an investigation file that includes the following:
The investigation plan
q
Documentation of what investigative steps have been taken, when and
q
by whom
Explanation of any significant departures from the investigation plan
q
Copies of documents, photos and other hard evidence
q
Witness statements and notes of witness interviews
q
The final investigative report
q
Gather pertinent documents, including:
Personal file of accused, which may identify any past complaints and
q
outcomes or possible motives
Company policies, directives or contract provisions that may apply
q
Other relevant documents (e.g., attendance records, production
q
records, customer order forms, etc.)
Retrieve e-mail, if permissible (including deleted e-mail).
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OUSER
AILEY
DO NOT REPRODUCE WIT HOUT PERMISSION
Conduct a search, if permissible:
Company premises and property, including desk, file cabinets, and
q
parking lot are generally subject to inspection by the company
If suspect illegal drugs or a weapon, call the police to conduct the
q
search
Exercise caution when searching employee’s personal belongings,
q
clothing or person
Prepare strategy for investigation:
Define issues
q
Create timeline
q
Select an investigator:
Internal (unbiased/uninvolved)
q
Outside investigator
q
Attorney
q
Draft outline of questions:
Open-ended questions
q
General questions asked first
q
Specific questions follow the general questions
q
Avoid leading or accusatory questions
q
Select location for interviews:
Maintain confidentiality and privacy
q
Limited distractions
q
Schedule interviews:
Review contract for provisions regarding advanced notice
q
If no such provision, short notice is preferable
q
Interview complaining party:
Take contemporaneous notes
q
Stick to the facts; avoid making written notes of your opinions and
q
recommendations
Sign and date the notes
q
After the interview, have the notes typed and have the witness review
q
them for completeness and accuracy. If changes need to be made, do
so. Have the witness sign and date the statement
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Interview the accused employee:
It is preferable for two representatives of the employer to be present.
q
It is usually advisable to allow the employee to have a witness, if
requested, as long as the witness does not impede the investigation.
(The witness may listen and observe, but not speak for the employee.)
Employee’s attorney may not attend interview unless the company’s
q
attorney is also present
Take contemporaneous notes
q
After the interview, both representatives should prepare a
q
memorandum of the interview which includes verbatim answers to
critical questions
Have the accused review and sign the statement
q
Interview other witnesses:
Do not interview two witnesses together
q
Do not promise complete confidentiality
q
Assure witness that there will be no reprisals for telling the truth
q
Tell the witness not to disclose the interview with anyone else
q
Face-to-face interview is preferable
q
After the interview, have the notes typed and have the witness review
q
them for completeness and accuracy. If changes need to be made, do
so. Have the witness sign and date the statement.
Analyze results of investigation:
Review witness interviews
q
Review all evidence gathered
q
Assess credibility of witnesses
q
Ask complainant/accused for any more evidence
q
Identify corrective action if necessary:
Consider severity of misconduct
q
Ensure consistency with company policies
q
Comply with labor agreement and policy handbook
q
Prepare final report:
Describe question investigated
q
Identify scope of investigation
q
Identify witnesses and evidence examined
q
Describe information elicited
q
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Make credibility findings where facts conflict
q
State any conclusions that are based on credible evidence
q
Even if can’t reach a conclusion, do a report and communicate with
q
complainant and accused
Make recommendation for correction action if necessary
q
Limit distribution to a need-to-know basis only
q
Notify complaining party:
Explain that company conducted a fair and objective investigation
q
into the complaint
State that company will take appropriate action, if applicable
q
Reiterate company’s anti-retaliation policy
q
Consider whether to avoid specifics
q
Notify accused employee:
Convey results of investigation
q
Reiterate company policy
q
Remind employee that retaliation is prohibited
q
Identify correction action, if applicable
q
Follow up:
Ensure follow through with appropriate discipline
q
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DO NOT REPRODUCE WIT HOUT PERMISSION