Skip to main content
On Demand

Bullying Investigations: Finding Our Way Without a Map

Credit Available - See Credits tab below.

Bias |  Internal Investigators |  External Investigators |  Interviewing |  Trauma |  Advanced |  Beginner
Keith Rohman |  Mr. Gabriel Sandoval
60 minutes
Audio and Video
Original Program Date:
Mar 23, 2023
Never expires.


Session Overview:

Bullying behavior and abusive conduct claims are on the rise and with them, new investigations. While there is an existing roadmap of law and regulation to guide sexual harassment and similar types of discrimination investigations, the same type of guidance simply does not exist for bullying complaints. Investigators all too often confront competing expectations among managers and employees on how to approach these types of investigations, which often require the investigator to  navigate heightened and competing emotions. How do you investigate when an employer doesn’t even have a bullying policy? When does appropriate supervision cross into abusive conduct?  What is your role if you see discriminatory patterns that the reporting party has not even identified? What if the Respondent bullies you, the investigator?

This training will help you find your way to findings by identifying strategies on how to (1) craft an appropriate scope of investigation utilizing existing employer policies, (2) elicit relevant information from sometimes traumatized witnesses who are fearful of retaliation due to the alleged bullying, (3) determine whether bullying behavior is representative of discriminatory conduct; (4) make proper findings supported by the weight of the evidence; and (5) deal with tricky issues which can be unique to bullying investigations.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Learn how a prompt, thorough, and equitable bullying investigation can be achieved with the crafting of an appropriate scope;
  2. Be able to identify and utilize general employer conduct policies in bullying investigations, even without a specific bullying/abusive conduct policy;
  3. Using real-word examples, learn practical steps to address witness concerns to elicit the most relevant information;
  4. Learn how to ensure that any factual findings about sustained complained-of bullying conduct answer potential questions that such conduct does not also support a finding of discriminatory conduct based on a protected category.


The contents of this webinar and the positions taken are those of the presenter only, may be time sensitive, and are not warranted, endorsed or otherwise recommended by AWI and are not intended to provide legal advice. 



SHRM PDCs: 1.0


California MCLEs: 1.0



Keith Rohman's Profile

Keith Rohman


Public Interest Investigations, Inc.

Keith Rohman is the president and founder of Public Interest Investigations, Inc., a Los Angeles-based firm.  Over the past 35 years, the firm’s clients have included prominent public- and private-sector employers who have turned to PII to investigate significant problems with board members, staff, contractors, and other stakeholders. 

Rohman is a past president of AWI and has served as a senior faculty member at AWI’s accredited Training Institute for Workplace Investigators. He is an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School, where he has taught investigation in employment and other investigative areas for the past 15 years. He serves as a senior trainer with T9 Mastered Training for Campus Investigators, a program focused Title IX investigations.  

Throughout his career, Rohman has worked on numerous high-profile civil and criminal cases. He conducted investigations related to the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib; allegations of shootings of Iraqis by Blackwater, Inc.; the enslavement of dozens of Thai workers in an El Monte, California, sweatshop; and the trial against Los Angeles police officers accused of beating Rodney King. Rohman also worked as a defense investigator in over 30 death penalty cases throughout the United States. 

Mr. Gabriel Sandoval's Profile

Mr. Gabriel Sandoval


Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rudd & Romo LLP

Gabriel Sandoval is a Partner at California-based Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo (AALRR) where he is a member of the firm’s Public Entity Labor and Employment (PELE) and Education Law Practice Groups. Sandoval also Co-Chairs PELE’s Investigation Practice Group, and, as part of his statewide practice, he conducts high-profile, complex, and politically sensitive investigations for public and private clients regarding complaints of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other types of misconduct. Sandoval also represents clients in matters involving other types of civil rights compliance issues and provides strategic and effective counsel to achieve fair and equitable results for clients facing investigations conducted by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other civil rights enforcement agencies. Additionally, as part of his statewide practice, Sandoval serves in the role of Title IX Hearing Officer, Appellate Authority, and Investigator for postsecondary educational institutions.

Prior to joining AALRR, Sandoval was a presidential appointee in Barack Obama’s Administration where he served as Senior Counsel and a member of the leadership team of OCR—the largest office of the federal government focused exclusively on the enforcement of civil rights compliance in our nation’s educational institutions from school districts to universities. Sandoval is presently the Chair the California Civil Rights Council, formerly known as the Fair Employment and Housing Council.