The Compliance Response to Misconduct Allegations

The Compliance Response to Misconduct Allegations


2nd Edition - March 28, 2013

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  • Author: John Thompson
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124165632

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The Compliance Response to Misconduct Allegations playbook is a step-by-step guide for what to do—and what not to do—in performing an investigation into claims of violations of employee policies. 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. Sections of this playbook 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 Compliance 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

  • 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 who must lead or conduct workplace investigations but haven’t received formal investigative training; human resources managers; and any others who may be the first to receive reports of wrongdoing, regulatory violations, or allegations about workforce behavior

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary

    What is a Playbook?

    Section I. Introduction

    1.1 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: 90
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2013
  • Published: March 28, 2013
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124165632

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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