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Private Education: Workplace 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 employers including large and small 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 conducting Title IX investigations and other student misconduct investigations. We also specialize in complex, sensitive and high-profile investigations, including investigations involving executive management and boards.
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 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.
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. Our investigators have interviewed hundreds of witnesses, complainants, and respondents. Many of our investigators have been specially trained in areas that require special knowledge such as interviewing minors or sworn peace officer rights under the Peace Officers Bill of Rights (POBR). Several of our investigators are also experienced litigators who know the significance of an investigation report in preparing for civil litigation. We also have certified Level III ATIXA Civil Rights investigators who regularly assist educational institutions with both on and off campus investigations.
When required to testify at deposition, hearing or trial, our neutral and unbiased approach to investigations ensures that our investigators can be credible witnesses. LCW understands that your institution’s interests will be served and protected through a comprehensive and properly documented investigation. Our practices enhance your institution’s chances of prevailing if litigation arises.
We handle investigations of employment and personnel issues including employee misconduct, hostile environment, discrimination, retaliation, ethics violations, whistle-blowing, financial improprieties, and discipline-related issues. We have investigated alleged wrongdoing on the part of employees, board members, and high-ranking officials. We have extensive expertise in dealing with both cooperative and combative witnesses. We often work with computer and other forensic experts in the gathering and analysis of evidence.
When the Firm oversees an investigation by someone else, we work closely with the internal investigator and provide support in preparing for witness interviews, conducting witness interviews, gathering documents and evaluating the evidence so the investigation is effective, uncovers the information needed, meets legal obligations, and better positioned to withstand legal scrutiny.
In addition to conducting investigations, we also teach others through workshops, publications, and workbooks. We regularly present workshops to investigators on how to conduct effective and defensible investigations. We can also train your in-house staff on how to effectively conduct their own investigations.
We regularly conduct investigations of student issues including allegations of code of conduct or academic policies violations. We are familiar with California and Federal statutes and regulations concerning student rights and responsibilities. We investigate sexual misconduct allegations involving students including cases of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and claims by students of bias and discrimination. Our investigations include on- and off-campus incidents, including those that occur during internships or clinical assignments.
LCW investigators conduct prompt and appropriate investigations of on- and off-campus sexual assaults and harassment to help ensure your institution meets the U.S. Department of Education’s expectations. Our investigators are experienced at working concurrently with local law enforcement in meeting investigation obligations.
Our investigators are also attorneys who regularly advise educational institutions in drafting and updating sexual misconduct policies and training Title IX Coordinators and other members of the campus community. Our attorneys also represent educational institutions in responding to complaints filed with the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights alleging harassment and discrimination. We are also thoroughly familiar with the overlapping requirements of these and related laws including the Education Code, Campus SaVE, Clery, and FERPA.
- SAN FRANCISCO
- LOS ANGELES
- SAN DIEGO