when investigations are needed
Companies hire workplace investigators when an employee makes a complaint of any kind, particularly when the allegations include illegal behavior such as sexual harassment, retaliation, or age and race discrimination. Third-party firms without prior ties to the company are often involved because the employer wishes to avoid any appearance of bias in investigating the claims, particularly if the claims are unsubstantiated.
the role of the investigator
A skilled investigator will question the employee who makes a complaint, potential witnesses, and the alleged wrongdoer. Her mission is to flesh out details and determine the factual landscape underlying legal allegations. She will avoid making legal findings, as that is the job of the attorney of record for the company. Instead, she will act as a skilled fact-finder, getting to the bottom of any assertions made and allowing the attorney of record to determine if and when liability exists.
Workplace Investigation Advantages
The advantages of an investigation are many. First, investigations are considered a baseline step for employers to comply with their legal obligation to prevent discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Second, a thorough investigation helps an employer avoid liability by demonstrating that it took an employee’s complaint seriously. Third, investigations help an employer get a handle on facts that underlie a potential lawsuit, allowing the company to determine if the matter should settle and in what amount. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, even when an investigator concludes that the complaining witness’s assertions aren’t supported by the evidence, an investigator will often discover brewing issues or even non-related facts that could lead to liability if they are not dealt with by the employer. In all these ways, workplace investigations are an efficient means of resolving conflict and improving the overall workplace environment, thus increasing workplace productivity.
how we help
The Maier Law Group is uniquely positioned to be effective investigators for several reasons. We are all skilled litigators who know how to question witnesses so that we elicit large amounts of information in a short period of time. We have both plaintiff and defense side experience in our ranks, making our findings us much less prone to claims of bias if challenged in court. In addition, we perform investigations in both Spanish and English, a skill that few investigators have but that is often needed. Finally, we are very experienced, and know how to ensure a company’s compliance with California and federal requirements around completing a prompt, impartial, and thorough investigation.