Why Should You Seek an Independent,
In order to fulfill your mandatory, affirmative duty as an employer, your organization must respond quickly and fairly to complaints of harassment or discrimination. While some employers meet this requirement by conducting the investigation with their own HR staff, an internal investigation will always be susceptible to claims of bias. Complaints of unlawful conduct or violations of policy not only embroil the complainants and the accused; indeed, these adverse circumstances challenge every arm of an organization to demonstrate its integrity. While your in-house HR professionals may be qualified to perform an investigation, their ability to conduct one with complete impartiality may be compromised or under suspicion simply by virtue of their position within the organization.
HR professionals can also be overburdened by their disparate responsibilities, lacking the focus and, frankly, the specialized skills that a professional outside investigator brings. With neutrality and effectiveness, I conduct investigations not clouded by prior history, bias, or other risks associated with internal investigation, while those internal resources normally taxed with the responsibility are now free to minimize organizational disruption and conduct other company business.
As an employment lawyer with over a dozen years’ experience conducting workplace investigations, I keep and maintain comprehensive, current knowledge of compliance issues, legal requirements, and investigatory best practices. I perform these duties with an impartiality that demonstrates absolute fairness; an efficiency that limits an investigation’s intrusion on business; and a thoroughness that enables employers to make sound, effective decisions based on the findings of fact. While investigations can be conducted within the attorney-client privilege, I always practice the necessary discretion and circumspection that keep my investigations unimpeachably neutral in anticipation that the privilege will be waived to allow for my testimony in future depositions or trials.
As an attorney, I understand the need for a clearly drafted and thoroughly documented investigation report that, should the circumstance arise, will withstand the intense scrutiny of litigation. My skills in conducting meticulous interviews, assessing credibility, managing difficult witnesses, and providing an accurate evidentiary record have been honed over years of investigations. Investigators without this background can lack a sufficient ability to guide an interview so that it provides truthful, relevant, and illuminating data for employers. My conclusions are impeccably reasoned and concise, based on a careful estimation of exhaustive interview material.
Finally, because of my previous experience as an HR professional, I am deeply familiar with workplace dynamics. I understand the apprehension an employee might experience when asked to participate in an investigation, whether as complainant, subject, or witness. This familiarity enables me to conduct a meticulous investigation that will cause the least disruption to workplace functionality.
I am a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators and completed AWI’s Training Institute for Workplace Investigators.