The purpose of the investigatory interview is to question the witnesses involved so that the employer can decide on the appropriate disciplinary action for the employee that has violated the Employer's rules and regulations. During the investigatory interview, the Union Steward may also be present. The contract may dictate the procedure for the investigatory interview.
Make sure that someone on each side is taking notes! If you take your notes up on the witness stand, the other side may see them, so consider this before using the notes during arbitration.
During the investigatory interview, as well as the actual arbitration hearing, ask questions that paint a detailed picture of what happened. Make sure to ask about the time, date, and location of the incident. Ask the witnesses who was present at the time, if there were any other witnesses, and what was said.
Before the investigatory interview, both the Union and Employer should thoroughly prepare. Make sure each witness knows his/her story and is prepared to answer questions from the other side. The library has helpful videos that will help you prepare for arbitration, including how witnesses should and should not respond to questions during cross examination. Take advantage of these videos!
Students should keep in mind that…
Just Cause = Substantive Due Process + Procedural Due Process
- Rule Violation - Followed procedures in K/law
- Fair Discipline - Time limits are important
To Prepare for the Investigatory Interview:
- Read everything on the web site regarding how to prepare for arbitration. Also, make sure to watch ALL the arbitration and mediation films on the web site under the tab: How To - Prepare for Arbitration.
- Draft and type out questions for your witnesses. Figure out who is going to play what part. Each person must question a witness.
- Read a lot of arbitrations that have facts similar to yours to get ideas. You can narrow down the search by looking at cases by issue (theft, suspension, etc.).
- Remember that no two people see anything the same way.
- Each side has someone typing notes at all times during the investigatory interview.
- You can never ask enough questions. Have witnesses draw pictures and get up and show you exactly what happened.
- Critical Thinking: Investigatory Interview Problem
**After the investigatory interview, the Employer will decide on a discipline. In response to the discipline, the Union will file a grievance (contract/CBA violation). The Employer will then answer the grievance. **
* Grievance Chain *
3. Pre Arbitration:
Each group will meet with their arbitrator the week before the arbitration hearing.
Give the Arbitrator the Evidence Book
Ask the arbitrator questions about the procedure, whether or not to include arbitration awards, etc.
4. Arbitration Hearing:
* Information on how to prepare and conduct an arbitration can be found on the main page (How To - Prepare for Arbitration). Other helpful information include:
How to Handle Arbitration like a Pro (for students)
Page last modified February 6, 2013