When a workplace investigator is engaged to look into a complaint such as discrimination or harassment, it is absolutely critical that the investigator be -- and appear to be -- a neutral party.
Back in January I blogged about a Minnesota Vikings investigation into allegations made by former player Chris Kluwe that he was let go based on his pro-gay marriage stance
There has been an increase in state law claims for assault and battery in the workplace.
In my practice as a workplace investigator, I am often brought in by an employer's regular outside counsel. The idea is that as a neutral third party, I bring an independence to the investigation that might not exist (or be perceived as existing) if the employer's own lawyer were to conduct the investigation.
Yesterday's New York Times had a fascinating article about employee confessions. It focused on an internal investigation conducted by a workplace investigator at AutoZone, the car parts and accessories retailer.
The report commissioned by the NFL to look into allegations of bullying raised by former Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin by offensive lineman Richie Incognito was completed last week.
If there are two buzzwords that capture what the courts are looking for in workplace investigations, they are prompt and thorough.
I've blogged before about the Association of Workplace Investigators, an organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of, as the name suggests, workplace investigations.
Bullying is a hot topic these days.
Not necessarily. It depends on how good the investigation is. Take the recent case of Castelluccio v. IBM, decided last month by a Connecticut federal court.
The University of Connecticut is learning this one the hard way.
We workplace investigation geeks are following the Miami Dolphins investigation involving allegations of harassment made by former Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin. Now there's another NFL investigation taking up time, money and press.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell indicated last week he plans to roll out some new workplace rules for NFL teams and players in 2014.
My dear friend and colleague Allison West is a seasoned workplace investigator. That's why she was retained as an expert witness in a case where the quality of the workplace investigation was an issue.
Workplace investigations are often, by their very nature, disruptive to business as usual.
The "honest belief" rule is a great took for employers who do the right thing and investigate issues of alleged wrongdoing in the workplace.
With apologies to the Kardashians, the unfolding situation with the Miami Dolphins is something employers should pay attention to.
One of the presentations focused on avoiding legal landmines. It provided great tips on staying in control of the investigation, including dealing with difficult and uncooperative witnesses.
The L.A. Times reported over the weekend that a recently released internal report found that the University failed to investigate a number of claims of racial bias and, accordingly, failed to take appropriate remedial action against alleged offenders.
I am super excited for the AWI Conference in Glendale this week.
Your policy should state something like "retaliation is strictly prohibited against employees who complain about harassment or discrimination or who participate in investigations into such claims." It may surprise you to know, though, under the law, the answer is blurry.
By the time an employee makes an internal complaint, there is often the real possibility of legal liability (think harassment, discrimination, and the like). Not surprisingly, then, said employee may have already retained a lawyer. So what should you do if the employee says she wants her lawyer present when you interview her as part of the investigation?
Back in February I blogged about a recent case, EEOC et al. v. Spitzer, wherein the employer's in-house counsel investigated internal complaints of discrimination and retaliation (see here for the prior post).
The Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) is the leading national organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of workplace investigations. I'll be kicking off the Cleveland Circle tomorrow.
When an employee complains about harassment, discrimination, or another workplace policy violation, one of the most important decisions you need to make is WHO will investigate the complaint.