Workplace Investigations: Strengthening Your Position

Workplace Investigation Sonoma County

What is a workplace investigation?

Why conduct one?

Who should conduct the investigation?

How does it benefit your business?

Workplace investigations are conducted when there is possible misconduct in the workplace. This can include, for example, allegations of harassment, any type of discrimination, hostile environment and retaliation. Good employee relations and sound legal practice encourage employers to conduct prompt and effective investigations to minimize their exposure.

A properly conducted  investigation can often diffuse a tense situation, may negate litigation or provide specific information in preparation for litigation. The investigation may be handled by someone within your company, if they have been trained in proper investigative techniques.

However, using an untrained investigator may supply additional “ammunition” in a lawsuit. If you want to use an impartial, third-party, The California Business and Professions Code
§ 7520 – 7522, requires that the person be a licensed private investigator or attorney.

What Happens When an Employee Files a Complaint

When you are faced with an employee complaint, consider the following:  

  • Does the law require me to do an investigation?
  • Can I reduce my exposure by conducting an investigation?
  • Who should do the investigation?
  • Do I have anyone in-house who is qualified?
  • Do I want outside Counsel to conduct the investigation?
  • Do I want an objective, neutral third-party to conduct the investigation?

Susan Daniel is a licensed attorney who has supervised and conducted hundreds of investigations. She is a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators and has broad experience as both an in-house and outside investigator. She has conducted investigations in the public, private and non-profit sector and in many industries, such as banking, high tech, security, retail and transportation.

If you want an independent, qualified third party to handle an investigation for your company or organization, contact Employee Relations Consultants

Client Comments about Workplace Investigations

“As Chair of the Board of a Bay Area non-profit, I engaged Susan to investigate an employee’s complaint of a “hostile work environment.” Susan’s investigation and subsequent report were thorough, timely and performed in an extremely professional manner.

When requested to meet with the relevant employees off-site, Susan was extremely accommodating. Her investigation established the foundation for a mutually acceptable resolution of the matter, with no further repercussions. I would certainly use Susan in the future for this or related employee relations matters.”

–Dr. Harry J. Saal, Chair Emeritus, Bay Area non-profit organization