When To Outsource Your Investigation
We recommend you outsource your investigation to an attorney when:
- The person being investigated is in a high ranking position.
- No one has been formally trained to conduct investigations in house.
- Someone in HR or Legal is being accused of wrongdoing or may be perceived as biased or partial.
- Your Employee Relations or HR is just too busy to devote all of their attention and time to
this time-sensitive matter.
- The complainant has stated that they don't have faith in your in-house team.
- You are in pre-litigation and you will need a credible, experienced witness on the stand to show your company responded appropriately.
Remember, in California, it is against the law to outsource investigations to anyone who is not licensed to conduct an investigation. Only licensed private investigators and attorneys are legally permitted to conduct outsourced investigation. (California Business and Profession Code Section 7522.)
We Can Help
You can conduct the investigation yourself, or you can leave it to the trained legal professionals.
- We can conduct the investigation for you.
- We will provide you, in a timely manner, the statements of parties and witnesses and all the relevant evidence.
- We can also provide you our legal opinion and conclusions based on federal and state laws, ordinances, agency guidelines and case law interpretation.
- In most cases, this report will be classified as attorney client privileged communications, if or until you, the client, decides to waive it.
- We can provide a recommendation as to appropriate disciplinary measures in light of the circumstances, when appropriate.
- We can also refer you to an excellent litigation attorney to discuss potential litigation issues without compromising our impartiality as the investigator/ witness.
Prompt. Fair. Thorough.
- When an employee make a complaint, an employer is required by law to conduct an investigation. This is a requirement of both federal and (most) state laws.
- According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "When an employee complains to management about alleged harassment, the employer is obligated to investigate the allegation….” (Enforcement Guidance: Vicarious Employer Liability for Unlawful Harassment by Supervisors (June 1999).
- According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing ( the "DFEH"), an employer is required to conduct an investigation as to any harassment claims about which it may be aware. DFEH v. Carolina Ginning Co. Inc., Case No. E96-97; H-0676-00-E; E96-97; H-0676-01; 99-01 (1999). The affirmative and mandatory duty to ensure a discrimination-free work environment requires the employer to conduct a prompt investigation of a discrimination claim.” American Airlines v. Superior Court, 114 Cal. App. 4th 881; 8 Cal. Rptr. 3d 146 (2003), rev. den. (2004).
- An employer can terminate an employee for cause when it acts "in good faith and bases its decision on an honest assessment of the facts after an appropriate investigation. Cotran v. Rollins Hudig Hall International, Inc. 17 Cal. 4th 93 (1998).
- Most employers have stated policies within their company handbooks that set forth a commitment to their employees that all complaints are treated seriously and will be promptly investigated.
- Investigation must be prompt, thorough and fair, conducted by a neutral person. Silva v. Lucky Stores, Inc. 65 Cal.App.4th 156 (1998).
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