Conducting Multiple Complaint, Employee Relations Investigations



One thing is for sure, just as complaints are growing increasingly complicated, employer obligations are also rising. One misstep in a seemingly simple complaint can cost an employer big time. However, most employees upon arriving at the HR office to make a complaint do not have just simple complaints with one issue. Unresolved, their problem may have built up and increased in complexity over time. Sometimes there are personal problems an employee hides until it affects their job performance and their supervisor may be less than cooperative.

Sometimes an employee raises an issue to the supervisor who mishandles their complaint thereby seriously worsening what started as a simple matter. Frustratingly, the employee may have reported their situation to someone who although required by policy to pass on their complaint, for whatever reason did not. Often these mishandling of complaints not only exacerbated the problem but also allow the opportunity for the oldest emotion in the book to flourish – revenge, manifesting itself as retaliation, and requiring a second investigation before the first investigation is resolved.

Today’s HR professional has to deal with increasingly complicated employee complaints. Employers increasingly are expected by law to keep go going to new lengths to protect and investigate employees’ claims. These investigations even if not required specifically by law, may be necessary for an employer to avoid certain types of liability. Would you know what to do if;
An employee complained her supervisor encouraging what she considered unsafe working practices, caused her injury.
An employee claims he is bipolar during a performance-counseling meeting.
Ten employees show up with a years’ worth of harassment complaint regarding one employee.
An employee who complained she was being harassed and reported it to her supervisor, (who did nothing), now claims both harassment and retaliation.

Areas to be Covered:

Triaging complaints
Determining what steps to take and when to take those steps during an investigation.
What to do when an employee drops a bombshell into a routine investigation.
What to do when an employee discloses an impairment during a performance investigation.
How to handle complaints that were reported to appropriate management persons but were never passed on to the right person.
The ever increasing scope (and liability) of retaliation claims. What you don’t know can hurt you.
What to do when an employee or a witness complains of retaliation during or after an investigation.
Dealing with managers behaving badly during investigations.
How to educate managers of their role in the investigatory process.
Dealing with interference and pushback.

Who will Benefit:

Employee relations
Human Resources Professionals
Safety and company management
Business owners

Teri Morning

  • Teri Morning, MBA, MS, SHRM-SCP specializes in solving company “people problems.”
  • Teri is the founder and a principal partner in HindsightHR – employee investigation and incident case management software.
  • Teri also sources software solutions for compensation and performance management.
  • Twenty+ years human resource and training experience in a variety of fields, including retail, distribution, architectural, engineering, consulting, manufacturing (union), public sector and both profit and non-profit companies.
  • Teri has enjoyed consulting with employers on their problems and trained managers and employees for over 20 years, meeting and working with employees from all types of businesses.
  • In addition to a MBA, Teri has a Master’s degree in Human Resource Development with a specialization in Conflict Management.
  • Teri was certified by the State of Indiana in mediation skills, Teri is certified in Project Management and IT Management, qualified as a Myers-Briggs practitioner and holds the SHRM certification of a Senior Certified Professional.


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