In today’s environment, the need for employers to promptly, thoroughly and equitably investigate and respond to allegations of misconduct is more important than ever. At an increasing rate, courts are scrutinizing the quality of workplace investigations conducted in relation to allegations of harassment, discrimination, employee misconduct and financial impropriety. Federal, state and local agencies are probing public and private employers for alleged wrongdoing; compliance costs are soaring, and, in many cases, employers are facing substantial penalties for conducting inadequate and biased investigations. As a result of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, the results of every internal investigation are subject to review, criticism and second-guessing in the public square.
Knowledgeable and Practical Employment Law Attorneys for Internal Investigations
The attorneys in our Internal Investigations Unit practice group are regularly retained to conduct investigations on behalf of clients of all sizes and across a broad range of industries. Our clients include financial institutions, colleges and universities, accounting firms, contractors, energy companies, utilities, and other privately-held and publicly-traded businesses. In addition to conducting investigations on behalf of clients in anticipation of litigation, our firm also serves as a neutral third party for internal investigations of claims including:
- Abusive and hostile work environments
- Financial malfeasance
- Race, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and gender discrimination
- Sexual harassment, misconduct and assault (e.g. Title IX and Title VII)
- Verbal and psychological abuse
- Workplace injuries and safety violations
When conducting internal investigations, our attorneys work in a thorough and cost-effective manner to provide actionable information to boards of trustees, audit committees, general counsel, and senior management so that our clients can make timely and informed decisions. Depending on the nature and scope of the review, and the timing at issue, we typically work in teams of two to deliver investigations that meet the standards for being thorough, reliable and objective. We offer hourly rates, investigations with capped or flat fees, agreements for a fixed number of investigations each year (or semester) and are always amenable to further discussion regarding alternative fee arrangements as appropriate.
We Help Employers Minimize Financial and Reputational Harm
In today’s landscape, the handling of an internal investigation can have a significant impact on an employer’s exposure and its ability to defend itself in a subsequent lawsuit or government investigation. Conducting a proper, timely and equitable investigation can minimize an employer’s costs associated with litigation and can simultaneously provide a defense to an alleged claim. Conducting a proper internal investigation may also mitigate negative publicity, while an improperly conducted investigation can lead to significant legal fees and reputational harm.
Counseling and Training
To the extent the firm has not served as the factual investigator, we also offer strategic and practical legal advice to clients facing allegations of harassment, discrimination, employee misconduct and financial impropriety. We guide clients step-by-step, and offer preventative counseling for the development and enhancement of relevant policies and procedures. We also offer training on what constitutes harassment, discrimination and/or misconduct, how to report and mitigate allegations of inappropriate behavior and how employers can and should address claims during this new era of scrutiny in order to ensure compliance with heightened government and media expectations.