Today’s professional can expect to participate in an internal workplace investigation in any number of capacities – as principal investigator, as part of an interdisciplinary team bringing specialized skills to the table, or as decision-maker looking at the work of those who conducted the investigation. This course explores the broad range of situations in which investigations occur in the workplace. They may be mandated by law, company policy, and/or the desire to avoid or limit liability, or to preserve a company’s assets and competitive position. Internal investigations may be undertaken by Human Resources, Compliance, or Legal, and may entail retaining outside investigators or consultants. This course will enable professionals to appreciate when such investigations are appropriate, understand the considerations in deciding who should investigate, and provide practical guidance on how to effectively conduct an investigation consistent with legal constraints.
Upon completion of this class you will be able to:
- Recognize situations in which an internal investigation ought to be conducted
- Articulate the goals of an internal investigation and the various steps necessary to achieve those goals
- Explore whether an internal investigation ought to be conducted by in-house or outside personnel
- Appreciate actions that ought to be taken at the outset of an investigation to preserve documents and confidentiality and prevent further liability risks
- Identify the key limitations on investigatory searches and monitoring of spaces and communications
- Understand the nature and extent of legal constraints on conducting investigatory interviews
- Describe potential variations in state and national laws potentially affecting workplace investigations
- Analyze what, if any, actions to take on the basis of the facts uncovered during an internal investigation
The Conducting Internal Investigations course can be completed in just 8 weeks. Workplace investigation coursework must be completed in the sequence in which it is offered. You should plan to spend about 6-8 hours per week on online coursework, including reading assignments, research and writing projects, and online discussions.