Independent Investigations and Assessments
The world has changed. Businesses of every size, in every industry, will find themselves urgently needing to change attitudes and behaviors related to sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Many will greatly benefit from an independent investigation or assessment.
Liberty Law offers a truly independent investigation for those businesses who do not want to merely protect themselves from potential litigation but instead address the root causes. This is why when we are called on to investigate a complaint, we ensure the business leaders understand the perspective of the employee or other complainant, and to identify how the problem happened in the first place. We also offer assessments, so businesses can proactively identify weak spots, improve structures, and effectively prevent the conditions that lead to complaints in the first place.
Your business may need an investigation or assessment by Liberty Law if:
• A complaint implicates senior management;
• A complaint implicates the board, a board committee, or a member;
• Your business’ integrity or reputation is threatened;
• Actions your business took based on the advice of current counsel are under scrutiny;
• Your business’ compliance or human resources policies are criticized;
• Your business recognizes that the old way is not sustainable and you need to identify what must change to provide workers a safe environment.
Our business clients not only benefit from experienced counsel who provide an investigation that is quick, thorough, and tailored to the circumstances. The old way all too often involved investigations that were focused not on addressing the roots of the problem, but on protecting the business, even to the point of targeting the complainant. We are different. We are trauma-informed and approach investigations from the perspective of making the workplace safe for all employees.
When a business learns of potential discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, there is an obligation to investigate. This is best performed by a truly independent investigator with the appropriate legal expertise. This will ensure that the process is credible, and that evidence is obtained and preserved to demonstrate the complaint was taken seriously. It will also more effectively uncover broader issues, help the business identify root causes, and help develop a plan for systemic change.
It is important for the business to understand that independent investigations performed by attorneys are not always covered by the attorney-client privilege. The privilege applies if the dominant purpose was not merely routine fact-finding, but to apply legal expertise by identifying pertinent facts, synthesizing the evidence, and coming to conclusions as to what happened. City of Petaluma v. Superior Court (App. 1 Dist. 2016) 248 Cal.App.4th 1023, 1034-35.
If your business has learned of potential discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, the time to act is now. Without immediately launching an investigation, evidence may easily be destroyed or tainted. Complaints may also escalate if the complainant feels they are not taken seriously or that an internal investigation is inherently biased.
If your business is among the many that understand how the world has changed and recognize the need to get proactive, Liberty Law is the answer. We not only offer the legal expertise necessary to assess your policies, practices, and general approach. We offer advice on how to make the necessary changes. And we offer training, to ensure those changes are effectively implemented.
Do not wait until your business is faced with potential litigation. Do not accept the risk that your in-house investigation will be dismissed as biased or that the lack of legal expertise will lead to evidence being compromised. The old way is on its way out. Do not wait for change to come to you. Be proactive. Protect your business and your workers.