The Business Response to Misconduct Allegations

The Business Response to Misconduct Allegations


3rd Edition - May 23, 2014

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  • Author: John Thompson
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128008416
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128009055

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The third edition of The Business Response to Misconduct Allegations is a step-by-step guide for what to do—and what not to do—in performing an investigation into claims of employee policy violations. It has been created for corporate professionals who are often the first to be contacted during a suspected employee-related claim, and who may not have investigative training. This revised edition has been expanded to include background information for audit, facilities and building management, human resources, IT security, and other non-security business functions. Sections of this book address the decision whether to investigate, the naming of investigators, investigation planning, interview techniques and issues, the importance of taking notes and written statements, investigations in union settings, and much more. Also included are a series of checklists and templates to aid the investigative team before, during, and after an investigation. This playbook is an excellent risk management resource for audit professionals, human resources managers, site or facility managers, small business owners, or anyone who may be the first to receive reports of wrongdoing, regulatory violations, or prohibited workforce behavior. The Business Response to Misconduct Allegations is a part of Elsevier’s Security Executive Council Risk Management Portfolio, a collection of real world solutions and "how-to" guidelines that equip executives, practitioners, and educators with proven information for successful security and risk management programs.

Key Features

  • Newly added material includes information for audit, facilities and building management, human resources, IT security, and non-security personnel
  • Describes the ethical and legal reasons for a company to follow up on and take every employee complaint seriously
  • Provides a framework of best practices the investigative team can use to prepare for and conduct workplace investigations
  • Includes a series of checklists and templates to aid the investigative team before, during, and after the investigation


Security managers and executives; audit professionals; human resources managers; compliance professionals; nonsecurity professionals; site or facility managers; small business owners or managers; safety managers; and any others who must lead or conduct workplace investigations but haven’t received formal investigative training.

Table of Contents

    • Executive Summary
      • What is a Playbook?
    • Section I. Introduction
      • 1.1 Who is this Book for?
      • 1.2 What Exactly do we mean by “Investigations?”
    • Section II. Reasons to Investigate
      • 2.1 Legal Requirement to Investigate
      • 2.2 Legal “Knew or Should Have Known” Standard
      • 2.3 Formal Versus Informal Complaint
    • Section III. Preliminary Issues
      • 3.1 Preliminary Interviews
      • 3.2 Ensure the Safety of All Concerned
    • Section IV. Creation of a Need-to-Know Group
    • Section V. Identification of Appropriate Investigators
      • 5.1 Special Skills
      • 5.2 Attorney–Client Privilege and Attorney Work Product
      • 5.3 Conflicts of Interest
      • 5.4 Objectivity and Pressures
      • 5.5 Matching the Investigator to the Situation
    • Section VI. Planning the Investigation
      • 6.1 Minimize Witness Intimidation
      • 6.2 Form Investigative Team and Divide Duties
      • 6.3 Establish the Time Frame for the Investigation
      • 6.4 Confirmatory Memorandum
      • 6.5 Obtain Relevant Documents
      • 6.6 Special Investigative Techniques
      • 6.7 Determine Who to Interview
      • 6.8 Interview Location
      • 6.9 Interview Order
      • 6.10 Prepare Opening and Closing Comments
      • 6.11 Prepare a Set of Written Questions
      • 6.12 Multiple Interviews
      • 6.13 Written Statements
      • 6.14 Taking Notes
    • Section VII. General Interview Issues
      • 7.1 Procedural Issues
      • 7.2 Issues Unique to Public Entities
      • 7.3 Specific Issues
      • 7.4 Style Issues
      • 7.5 Issues Unique to the Subject Matter
    • Section VIII. Taking Notes
      • 8.1 Designate a Primary Note Taker
      • 8.2 What to Include in Notes
      • 8.3 Need for Completeness
      • 8.4 Exclude Interpretation, Subjective Comments or Conclusions
      • 8.5 Note Demeanor
      • 8.6 Write for the Jury
    • Section IX. Taking Written Statements
      • 9.1 Obtaining Voluntary Statements
      • 9.2 Requiring Employee Statements
      • 9.3 Identify Topics but Not Content
      • 9.4 Elements of the Statement
    • Section X. Reporting Findings
      • 10.1 Reporting Preliminary Conclusions
      • 10.2 Inclusion of Attorney
      • 10.3 Reporting Conclusions, Recommendations
      • 10.4 After Consensus is Reached, Create a Summary Report
      • 10.5 Communication Beyond the Need-to-Know Group
      • 10.6 Attorney File Review
    • Section XI. Investigations in Union Environments
      • 11.1 Handling the Press
      • 11.2 Conclusion
    • Appendix A. Checklists
      • 1 Identifying Investigators
      • 2 Obtaining Documents
      • 3 Planning the Investigation
      • 4 Procedural Interview Issues
      • 5 Technical Interview Issues
      • 6 Taking Notes
      • 7 Taking Written Statements
      • 8 Reporting Findings
      • 9 What Not to Do
    • Appendix B. Sample Confirmation Memorandum
    • Appendix C. Investigation Matrix
    • About the Author
    • About Elsevier’s Security Executive Council Risk Management Portfolio
    • Industry Applicability Validation

Product details

  • No. of pages: 92
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2014
  • Published: May 23, 2014
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128008416
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128009055

About the Author

John Thompson

John Thompson
With over 22 years of experience addressing security matters from prevention and counseling to training and litigation, John D. Thompson is a nationally recognized expert in the area of workplace violence. He has provided consulting, counseling, training, and litigation services to the government, numerous Fortune 500 and other companies for workplace violence and related security problems. Named to the “Best Lawyers in America” list for the last 15 years, John has developed workplace violence training programs and videotapes for supervisors and managers and has tried a workplace homicide lawsuit to jury verdict. Also a member of the Security Executive Council content expert faculty, John helps develop strategic security services and products for Council members.

Currently a partner with the Minneapolis law firm of Oberman Thompson, LLC, John formerly served as in house counsel for 3M Company where he advised the human resources, employee assistance, medical, and security departments. John participated in the development of 3M's progressive and proactive approach to the problem of workplace violence, including incident management and the development of a threat assessment team and other preventive techniques.

He enjoys a unique career combination: that of practicing attorney and corporate development of employer workplace violence management and security programs. He holds both BA and JD degrees with honors from Georgetown University.

Affiliations and Expertise

Subject Matter Expert Faculty, Security Executive Council; Attorney, Oberman Thompson, LLC

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