THE MAGAZINE

Workplace Investigations: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Mark Folmer

*****Workplace Investigations: A Step-by-Step Guide. By Lisa Guerin; published by Nolo, www.nolo.com (Web); 350 pages; $39.99

In the opening chapter, author Lisa Guerin sets the foundation and purpose of the book by stating that “a proper investigation is one of the most important tools an employer has for maintaining a safe and productive workplace—and staying out of legal trouble.” From there, she puts forth a focused book that will help employers stay organized in any investigation.

This guide, organized in a logical manner from the general to the case specific, is divided into two parts: “Investigations Basics,” followed by “Investigating Common Workplace Problems.”

It is an easy read that is peppered throughout with examples, “dos” and “don’ts,” checklists, sample questions, references, and lists of additional guidelines. The second part of the guide offers many specifics with recommendations, detailed structure, and pitfalls to avoid in workplace investigations dealing with discrimination, harassment, workplace theft, threats, and violence.

A person responsible for workplace investigations who needs a reference point, or a starting point, would gain the most from this book. Additionally, it could be useful for experienced managers who want to organize their thinking and methodology.

Capping off the text is an excellent set of appendices that list sample policies, sample forms, checklists, and various online state- and topic-specific resources. There is also a detailed index. In addition to helping with investigations, the sample policies will provide an excellent tool if an employer needs to establish complaint, open-door, antidiscrimination, antiharassment, or antiviolence policies.

This is a truly handy guide that can be referred to again and again.

Reviewer: Mark Folmer, CPP, is the associate vice president, Eastern Canada for Total Security Management Services Inc. based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, and chairs ASIS International’s Montreal chapter.

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