Workplace Investigations And Training
Workplace Investigations may be required in situations where an employee or former employee makes claims of unlawful harassment or when there are allegations of other, non-discriminatory misconduct. In such situations, an employer is wise to hire an independent and outside experienced lawyer to experience the allegations and advise the employer.
The flip side of this issue is when an employee is accused or harassment or misconduct and the employer hires an investigator to interview the employee. In this situation, the employee should NEVER respond and allow for the interview without legal representation.
Our firm has years of experience representing employers and employees in workplace investigations which investigations have successfully protected employers against claims of harassment and misconduct by employees and also successfully represented employees who have been accused of unlawful harassment and misconduct and saved employees from termination.
The stakes are high for employers and employees in these situations. Employers need an independent attorney to investigate (and not a company employee or HR) who is skilled in identifying the pertinent issues, gathering the relevant evidence, maintaining control of the investigation, providing an objective assessment of the situation and making helpful recommendations. This kind of investigation demonstrates that the employer is taking the matter seriously and hopefully will minimize the potential losses to the business and the company’s reputation.
The stakes are equally high for the employee, whose reputation can be permanently damaged, whose employment can be adversely affected from demotions, salary adjustments, discipline and termination. An employee needs experienced representation and legal advice before responding to a complaint of unlawful harassment or misconduct allegations, and before submitting to an interview. Representation during the investigative interview is also advised.
We are available to provide this representation. Please contact either Pamela M. Sayad or Brenda F. Biren to discuss your options before making a mistake that could have dire consequences on your employment or your business.
We also can guide you through the requirements of California law regarding required unlawful harassment training for employees and supervisors/managers by all employers with five or more employees. No later than January 1, 2021, companies must provide unlawful harassment training (including prevention of harassment, discrimination, retaliation and abusive conduct training) for all employees. For supervisors, the training will be two (2) hours and for all other employees the training will be one (1) hour. The training must be provided every two (2) years thereafter.