In a time of post-pandemic workplace challenges and the Black Lives Matter and MeToo movements, employers face increased scrutiny of their policies and practices. Employees, as well as courts and agencies, have a heightened expectation regarding the quality and effectiveness of investigations to address workplace harassment, retaliation, and other misconduct claims.
Hackett Feinberg’s Employment team understands, from firsthand and hard-earned experience, the challenges associated with today’s internal investigations and audits. We regularly assist employers with internal investigations of employee complaints, company self-audits, and federal and state agency investigations.
Our investigators are skilled in conducting workplace investigations that are well planned and well executed. In responding to an employee complaint, we focus on, among other things, preparing a calibrated investigation plan; identifying the key issues, witnesses, and documents; soliciting critical information from different sources; making credibility assessments; and documenting the investigation. Effective workplace investigations are not only required by state and federal law and many employer policies, but also they are an important tool in addressing employee concerns, building a more diverse and inclusive workforce, attracting and retaining talent, and limiting exposure to litigation and agency action.
Even the most well-intentioned businesses with solid human resources practices can be subject to federal and state agency audits and investigations. Our Employment team regularly defends employers in these audits and investigations. We help clients understand the process and prepare effective responses, while we work directly with the government agency to efficiently resolve the matter. Moreover, we help employers conduct preventative self-audits of their workplace policies and practices so they are better prepared for any unforeseen investigation or litigation.
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