Investigations

Investigations

Increased legal obligations, operational and financial risks, and scrutiny in the #MeToo era make it critical that employers select qualified and experienced investigators to investigate harassment claims and other workplace issues.  Effective and defensible investigations are also critical to meeting an employer’s legal obligations and often have the added benefit of  shedding light on best (or worst) practices, systemic problems, and opportunities for improvement in personnel management and overall operations.

LCW has a statewide team of expert investigators that conduct workplace investigations for a wide array of California agencies and other organizations and entities, including large and small private companies, non-profits, cities, counties, special districts, entities, public and private colleges and universities, and K-12 schools.  Our attorneys have conducted and overseen hundreds of confidential and independent investigations involving the full range of workplace and student-related issues, including allegations of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, misconduct, financial improprieties, as well as personnel policy, rules, and code of conduct violations. Our investigators are trained in areas that require special knowledge such as interviewing sworn peace officer rights under the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights (POBR) and Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights (FOBR), conducting Title IX investigations and other student misconduct investigations. We also specialize in complex, sensitive and high-profile investigations, including investigation involving  executive management and high-ranking officials. 

All of our investigators are seasoned employment-law attorneys, and their knowledge in this complex area of the law provides added understanding, depth, and expertise in conducting workplace investigations.  Our investigators are well versed in the new laws, regulations, and guidelines on harassment investigations (including the January 1, 2019 FEHA amendments, amended FEHA regulations, and DFEH Workplace Guide) and conduct investigations that adhere to these legal requirements and guidelines.

Our Investigations Practice Team is comprised of attorneys with experience and skill in conducting interviews, establishing rapport with witnesses, making credibility assessments, factual analyses, evidence gathering, and report writing, skills that are necessary to conduct accurate, effective and defensible investigations. Several of our investigators are also experienced litigators who bring their skills and talent in gathering facts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing evidence to their work conducting investigations. When required to testify at deposition, hearing or trial, our qualifications, experience, neutral and unbiased approach to investigations supports our credibility and the credibility of the investigations we conduct.

In addition to conducting investigations, our team of investigators also provides support to a wide variety of employers, when they use internal or other investigators to conduct investigations. We can provide support throughout the process, including defining the scope of investigation, investigations notice letters, interview outline preparation, analysis of the evidence and reaching findings, and drafting the report. 

Areas in which we work

Workplace Investigations

LCW’s investigators are experienced in working with large and small employers in a variety of industries, including public, private and non-profit entities.  Our investigators have an in-depth understanding of the multitude of operational issues, organizational structures, leadership and governance issues, workplace cultures, and interpersonal dynamics; this understanding is extremely valuable at various stages of the investigative process and to assist in gathering and analyzing evidence and making factual determinations.  Our investigators understand the importance of promptly and sensitively conducting investigations, minimizing the impact on day-to-day operations, and providing a report that can be relied upon in making operational and personnel decisions and in any related litigation.

 Our Investigation Expertise:

  •  Harassment: Hostile environment & Quid Pro Quo
  • Discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • Code of Conduct & Policy Violations
  • Other Employee misconduct
  • Ethics violations
  • Whistle-blowing
  • Financial improprieties

Public Agency & Public Safety Investigations

LCW's Investigators have significant experience working with cities, counties, and special districts.  Our investigators understand the day-to-day operations of all types of public entities and are very experienced in the array of operational and personnel issues public employers deal with.  Our investigators are all well-versed in public agency employment laws, personnel policies, disciplinary proceedings and appeal hearings, and advising governing boards.  Our investigators have conducted sensitive and high-profile investigations for public entities including investigations of involving high-ranking public officials.

We are state-wide experts in the laws governing workplace investigations of peace officers and firefighters.  We literally "wrote the book," having authored the CPER Pocket Guides on the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBR) and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act (FBOR). Our appellate victories have helped shaped the way that public safety agencies conduct day-to-day labor and employment relations. The firm publishes its own monthly newsletters with news involving police and fire employment legal issues called the Briefing Room and Fire Watch, respectively. We have also authored our own reference guide, “Principles of Public Safety Employment.” Members of the firm also frequently train police departments in their employment matters.

Our Public Safety Investigations Expertise:

  • Use of force
  • Dishonesty
  • Conduct unbecoming
  • Other Code of Conduct & Policy Violations
  • Other Employee misconduct
  • Harassment: Hostile environment & Quid Pro Quo
  • Discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • PBOR/FBOR
  • Internal Affairs investigations

In addition to our investigation services, LCW can provide an in-depth review of Internal Affairs investigation procedures and create customized trainings for your law enforcement agency.

Investigations for K12 Schools and Colleges and Universities

LCW's Investigators have significant experience working with all types of educational institutions, including public and private K-12 and post-secondary colleges and universities.  We conduct both employment-based workplace investigations and student-based misconduct investigations, including Title IX investigations.  Our investigators are experienced and well-versed in operations and educational issues across the different types of educational institutions and understand the importance of the distinct culture at each.  We also have in-depth knowledge of the more complex employment laws governing public educational institutions. 

Our Public and Private Colleges, Universities, and K-12 Investigations Expertise:

  •  Harassment: Hostile environment & Quid Pro Quo
  • Discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • Title IX Investigations Sexual misconduct allegations (including dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking)
  • Code of Conduct & Policy Violations
  • Academic Policy Violations
  • California & Federal statutes and regulations concerning student rights and responsibilities

Training

LCW conducts over 800 trainings a year on the full range of employment and student issues.  We conduct training on investigations, teaching internal investigators how to conduct investigations and what to be aware of when selecting an outside investigator and monitoring the investigation.  Importantly, our Training Academy for Workplace Investigators provides training to internal trainers in compliance with the Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) Harassment Guide.  We have provided investigations training to hundreds of human resources personnel, managers and supervisors.  For more information about our onsite training, please contact Anna Sanzone-Ortiz at 310.981.2051 or asanzone-ortiz@lcwlegal.com.  

Private Companies

LCW’s investigators are experienced in working with private companies, large and small, in a variety of industries, as well as non-profits.  Our investigators have an in-depth understanding of the multitude of operational issues, organizational structures, leadership and governance issues, workplace cultures, and interpersonal dynamics; this understanding is extremely valuable at various stages of the investigative process and to assist in gathering and analyzing evidence and making factual determinations.  Our investigators understand the importance of promptly and sensitively conducting investigations, minimizing the impact on day-to-day operations, and providing a report the company or non-profit can rely on in making operational and personnel decisions and in any related litigation.

News & Knowledge

& Knowledge View All News 

Feb 13, 2019 Tips from the Table

Constructive Receipt

LCW Announces Three New Partners: Linda Adler, Jennifer Rosner and Max Sank
Oct 2, 2018 Press Release

LCW Announces Three New Partners: Linda Adler, Jennifer Rosner and Max Sank

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Jan 8, 2019 Special Bulletins

DFEH Provides Guidance on Impact of New SB 1343 Harassment Training Requirements: Some Questions Answered, Many Still Remain – Including Possibility that ALL Supervisory and Nonsupervisory Employees Need to Be Trained or Retrained Again in 2019

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Oct 9, 2018 Blog Posts

Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations Is Essential To Minimizing The Risk Of Liability On A Failure To Prevent Harassment Claim

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Jun 14, 2018 Tips from the Table

Negotiating Personnel Rules

We are excited to continue our video series – Tips from the Table. In these monthly videos, members of LCW’s Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining practice group will provide various tips that can be implemented at your bargaining tables. We hope that you will find the
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Blog Posts

California Supreme Court Lets Stand New Case on Officers’ Rights to Discovery Prior to Second Interrogation

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The ACA Lives On: Obligations for IRS Reporting
Aug 6, 2019 Seminars / Webinars

The ACA Lives On: Obligations for IRS Reporting

Speaker: Heather DeBlanc, Amit Katzir
Mandated Reporter Training for Private Schools
Aug 7, 2019 Seminars / Webinars
Effectively Using Public Safety FLSA Work Periods
Sep 4, 2019 Seminars / Webinars
Nuts & Bolts of Negotiations
Sep 12, 2019 LCW Labor Relations Certification Program

Nuts & Bolts of Negotiations

Speaker: Melanie L. Chaney, Kristi Recchia
Almansor Court, Alhambra
Harassment Prevention: Train the Trainer Refresher (Los Angeles, CA)
Sep 17, 2019 Seminars / Webinars
Is it Pensionable? Hybrids, Lump Sums, & Other Pensionable Compensation Challenges
Sep 17, 2019 Seminars / Webinars
VIEW CALENDAR OF EVENTS & TRAINING
Contact Us

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info@lcwlegal.com

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Media Inquiries

Please contact Cynthia Weldon, Director of Marketing & Training, 800.981.2000.

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