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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
One of the responsibilities of employers is to insure a safe and secure workplace. This necessitates dealing with employee accusations of harassment, discrimination, workplace violence, employee theft, and other challenges to the workplace security of employees -- whether the problem is perceived from emanating from management or other employees. Lisa Guerin, an attorney specializing is resolving workplace issues, has written "The Essential Guide To Workplace Investigations: How To Handle Employee Complains & Problems", a 350-page, 'user friendly' instruction manual for managers, human resources professionals, and business owners, on investigating and resolving common workplace issues in a manner that is fair, effective, and in adherence to federal laws and state regulations. Enhanced with an accompanying CD-ROM with forms, sample polices, checklists, and other resources, "The Essential Guide To Workplace Investigations" is an informed and informative, offering step-by-step instructions on deciding whether or not to investigate a complain; taking immediate action if deemed necessary; selecting an investigator; planning the investigation; interviewing; gathering evidence; evaluating the evidence; taking appropriate action; documenting the investigation; and doing follow-up to insure future compliance. Simply stated, "The Essential Guide To Workplace Investigations" is an essential and basic reference for anyone charged with the responsibility of providing employees with a conflict-free work environment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Even includes all forms, sample policies and documentation, checklists and other resources on a cd for editing and print out, plus audio scenarios and interviews.

Employee complaints and reports of harassment, discrimination, workplace violence, drug and alcohol abuse and employee theft are of grave concern to human resource managers and the liability of corporations. This field has evolved greatly since the 70's in every way, including legislation. This book gives the latest state of the field, with resources needed to address the issues which arise.

Nolo is an excellent service for getting the law into the reach of the nonlawyer. This book is compiled by a Doctor of Law, Lisa Guerin, JD, who is an expert in employment law and serves at Nolo as legal editor. She has also co-written such books as Dealing With Problem Employees: A Legal Guide and Create Your Own Employee Handbook: A Legal and Practical Guide, as well as writing Smart Policies for Workplace Technology: Email, Blogs, Cell Phones & More, and Everyday Employment Law: The Basics, along with several other texts in this field.

This book guides the Human Resource manager through ten steps for running an effective employee complaint investigation. In the first place, to establish the necessity for investigating, and then the need for immediate action. HR must then choose an investigator, and plan the investigation. Interviews are then conducted to determine the facts in the case. Evidence is gathered and evaluated. Action is taken. The investigation is fully documented, with follow-up.

This book guides HR through each of these ten stages, and provides generic forms needed at each stage on the cd which can easily be adapted to the particular situation. The audio samples on the cd also model investigation techniques.

Newsweek says that 'Nolo is always there in a jam as the nation's premiere publisher of do-it-yourself legal books' and this book continues that fine tradition of practical service. It just about serves as a corporation's legal department. This book can also serve to assist the legal professional in these situations, and could well be found on many a workplace lawyer's bookshelf, or, more likely, work desk.

The Society for Human Resource Management is an international professional association which provides current and comprehensive resources promoting HR's strategic role, and approves this book among its resources, which serves the corporation as well as the victim of discrimination and harassment.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
"The Essential Guide to Worplace Investigations: How to Handle Employee Complaints and Problems" should have a place in your HR library. The book is easy to read and offers common sense approaches to tackling most employee issues. It would benefit novice HR persons, as well as operational managers. Overall, a great guide to handling tough issues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 26, 2010
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I obtained this book and looked at it in reference to the dozens of investigations that I have conducted over the last twenty years. I was hoping to review my techniques and learn anything that I might have overlooked.

The books is well written and well organized. I found nothing to distract me from my study of it. It is long and somewhat wordy, with lots of examples. For that reason, anyone who is purchasing it in order to begin an investigation will need to find some extended quiet time. It contains checklist, but the full value of the book will be obtained through extended study.

The book is written by a lawyer, as part of a series called NOLO books, and the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management). I include this because according to the cover, this should lend credibility to its contents. I am not aware of either of these groups, so it didn't mean anything to me.

It has the feel, but not the obtuse wordiness, of a book written by a lawyer. It is very cautious in its approach and gives specific language examples of what to say and what not to say. I think these examples are helpful and enlightening and would be even more so to someone with little experience in conducting investigations.

Concerning applicability, I suppose the most important point for use of this book is that you must be ready to accept its advice. For example, it has an excellent section of "when to investigate." I agree with everything in that section. That said, the most significant failures in management I have seen were when the situation wasn't investigated, but allowed to ride.

I think that you would do well to follow what it lays out. I will personally incorporate some of its forms and wording into the investigations that are (unfortunately) sure to come my way in the future.

The sad fact is, there is very little positive about being a manager when you have a bad situation at work. What makes it worse, is that seeking help from others in your organization often decreases your perceived worth to the organization and labels you a "greenhorn." This book can help you deal with the negative by providing specific guidance and can give you a non-judgmental adviser on what you can do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Review of "The Essential Guide To Workplace Investigations: How To Handle Employee Complaints & Problems" by NOLO Press.

I ordered this book to assist me in conducting investigations in the corporate and government sector.

I found that the book walks the reader down the path toward the completion of an effective investigation regarding complaints and problems in the workplace. It starts with "Part I: Investigation Basics" comprised of the chapters: "1. Workplace investigations: An Overview;" "2. Getting Started;" "3. Gather Information;" "4. Make and Document Your Decision." "Part II: Investigating Common Workplace Problems" comprised of the chapters: "5. Investigating Discrimination;" 6. Investigating Harassment;" "7. Investigating Workplace Theft;" "8. Investigating Threats and Violence;" "9. Investigating Drug and Alcohol Use." The text ends with a very comprehensive section of Appendixes covering: "A: Workplace Policies;" "B. Forms and Checklists;" "C. Sample Investigation Documents;" "D. Resources;" and "E. How to Use the CD-ROM."

As you can tell from reading the various chapters and sections that this book covers every form of potential workplace complaint or problem that should be investigated and provides the steps to do so with clarity. The enclosed CD-ROM has the tear out sheets from Appendixes A, B, & C on it so as to provide easy access to the following forms: Complaint Policy, Open-Door Policy, Anti-discrimination Policy, Anti-harassment policy, Anti-violence policy, Complaining Report Form, Drug and Alcohol Policy, Investigation Notice Form, Investigation Report Form, Adverse Action Notice Form, Checklist: Ten Steps to a Successful Investigation, Checklist: Avoiding Common Investigation Mistakes, Document Checklist, Credibility Checklist, Discipline Checklist, Investigation Report Checklist. In addition the CD-ROM has the following files in MP3 Audio Format: Scenario 1: Taking a Complaint; Scenario 2: Interviewing the Complaining Employee; and 3. Interviewing the Accused Employee.

If you have been following along with this review you can get a feel for the immense amount of information and guidance that is provided. This book is intended for anyone employed in a supervisory capacity who might have to conduct an internal investigation. This book is a great resource for private investigators and contract detectives who may be hired to conduct investigations to expose employee theft, skimming etc. The possibilities are limitless. I highly recommend this book. Five stars without reservation.

Jeffrey Hauck, JD, CPO, CII, PI
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 2, 2010
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I cannot get over how impressed I am with the Nolo Series books, and this paperback book complete with CD Rom focuses on a valuable tool for employers and employees in the workplace. Anybody, namely an employee, can peruse the book for how to handle his or her own complaints and investigations. You, the employee can learn what to expect from employers and the process they initiate to investigate workplace investigations you may be involved in.

An important note to consider about conducting investigations is to do it right or unpleasant consequences arise as a result of a poorly done investigation. And you will learn how to ask the questions to the employee and/or witnesses, how to gather evidence, and more.
Follow that with the most common workplace problems, such as drug and alcohol usage, violent behavior, theft, harassment, and the unjust of discrimination.

The Nolo Series books has help available at your fingertips and providing real cases, numerous forms, checklists, interviews, resources, samples, tips, etc. And, a great asset is the samples on workplace policies. You will find a thorough list of state laws.

The format of the book is easy to read, easy to locate information, categories grouped in an efficient manner, plenty of white space in the margins for note taking, shaded and blocked areas for important information, bold headings and subheadings, thorough index and table of contents.

This book is complete with the CD Rom. Author Lisa Guerin is an employment law expert and legal expert at Nolo. If you have not researched the many layman's law books by Nolo, check out the [...]. Try these: The Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws and Everyday Employment Law: The Basics. .....Rizzo
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 12, 2010
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This NOLO guide will be helpful for anyone who is encountering conflicting reports of employee abuse or misconduct, and how to proceed with an investigation. It is a quasi-legal guide that has as much to do with the procedures to implement in respect to the law, while seeking to avoid protracted or damaging legal action.

Much of this is admittedly subjective, knowing where to draw the line and how to garner information. This book cannot help you with that and I found some of the author's examples a bit ridiculous -- such as on page 38 where she discusses one employee threatening another with a gun (!) vs. one employee parking in another's parking spot repeatedly. The troubling thing is that the first example is so outrageous it almost is not worth discussing while the second sounds like it could be an example of bullying and passive-aggressive behavior. However, making the decision on whether to investigate an issue or not is always going to be up to the manager, so these shortcomings of the book do not really damage its worth.

There are a lot of potential issues that can arise when a troublesome employee is approached about their behavior. For instance, what if they refuse to cooperate unless a lawyer is present? Are you a lawyer yourself? Many of these scenarios are presented and can help prepare you for what can be some jarring developments in the resolution of the issue.

Also included is a CD-ROM with helpful supporting documentation and a multiple appendices containing checklists and forms. For many people, this book will provide much needed insight into an area that most of us usually do not want to think about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 11, 2010
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This guide provides an easy-to-follow, ten-step framework for conducting investigations into problems with employees and for acting on complaints and then applies the framework to discrimination, harassment, theft, threats and violence, and drug and alcohol use, complete with example investigations of each type.

The legal background is explained and policies, prevention, and when to escalate to outside investigators, lawyers, or government agencies are all discussed. The text does an excellent job of explaining even the more difficult material in plain English, for example when issues such as harassment and discrimination or drug use and ADA issues might overlap or why policies must be applied consistently and what can happen when they are not.

Supporting material includes sample policies, forms, checklists of what to do and what not to do, summaries of federal and individual state laws and where to find more information. The CD-ROM mostly duplicates some of the material in the book.

The book is easy to navigate with a helpful table of contents and index and good use of page layout and design to help organize the material.

The Essential Guide to Workplace Investigations is truly essential reading and reference for supervisors, managers, human resource personnel, business owners, executives, and even board members. The chapters on theft and threats and violence are appropriate even for low-level security personnel. Employees could also benefit from reading it but there are better books specifically for that purpose such as Your Rights in the Workplace.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The biggest problem I've found over the years is that the bosses or supervisors doing the investigations didn't have the first clue on the proper, professional way to go about conducting them.

Unfortunately due to blissful managerial ignorance, innocent employees end up wrongly accused and convicted; adversely the office troublemakers consistantly get off scott free. In the reading you will learn the right and wrong ways to investigate incidents, how to go about asking questions, where to look for clues and the right way to phrase key questions. This is definitely a great resource for small and big businesses owners.

The employer is not the only one who must learn how to conduct proper workplace investigations. Any employee who has been wrongly accused, should prepare defense that is professional, succient, and clearly states the facts.

I must warn you that you cannot read one chapter and be an expert in the administration of investigation and discipline. You must read the entire book, grasp the concepts, and apply them to your situations. Knowledge is power and I really feel that employees and employers will benifit from reading Workplace Investigations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2010
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have consulted Nolo's The Essential Guide to Handling Workplace Harassment & Discrimination quite a few times when I wanted a quick answer (or a starting point for more formal legal research) on workplace harassment issues.

This manual is equally useful, especially for those of us who are sometimes forced into the Human Resources area of our profession when is not the main focus of our jobs (as with me.) This Guide gives excellent advice on addressing both everyday workday complaints, as well as more serious matters. The main point, which cannot be over-emphasized in our lawsuit-happy society, is how a supervisor must protect himself/herself by documenting EVERYTHING which happens once a problem arises.

As in other Nolo guides, this one includes some handy forms on a CD-ROM, located in a back pocket.

Recommended for every working person who is supervising others.
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