Tag: internal investigations

10 traits of an effective workplace investigator

by Ryann E. Ricchio Workplace investigations are of critical importance to employers for many reasons. Done correctly and thoroughly, an investigation can, among other things, resolve ongoing and future workplace problems, mitigate your organization’s liability, prevent third-party intervention, demonstrate good faith, and preserve evidence that may be needed in the future. Of course, a central […]

Deflategate and the power of external investigations

After more than three months of waiting, we finally got the investigative report regarding the New England Patriots’ “Deflategate” incident that occurred during the NFL’s AFC Championship Game earlier this year. Was it worth the wait? Was the NFL’s subsequent punishment just? It’s pretty clear it depends on whom you ask. Authored by Ted Wells […]


HR lessons in NFL’s new code of conduct

by Laurie Jirak On December 10, 2014, the NFL announced a new and more stringent personal conduct policy (code of conduct) for all members of the NFL. The new code is the NFL’s attempt to create clear standards and consistent procedures for misbehavior, after a year spent in a deluge of criticism for its handling […]

Keeping an open mind during workplace investigations

by Peter Lowe Internal workplace investigations turn sour for a variety of reasons, including haste, poor preparation, ineffective documentation, and a lack of investigatory skills. But in my experience, the biggest obstacle to fair and thorough investigations is the bias of the investigator. When an investigator starts out with a preconceived notion of guilt or […]

Conducting internal investigations: avoiding claims of intimidation and coercion

by Randi J. Winter Employers routinely conduct internal investigations in response to allegations of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, theft, and other forms of employee misconduct. Although conducting such investigations can be critical to your continued operations, you should be mindful of the importance of exercising neutrality and fairness during the investigative process.  Be thorough, but fair […]

Unwelcome encore: managing investigations to survive ensuing litigation

by Jeff Sloan The classic Yogi-ism―”It ain’t over ’til it’s over”―has special significance for employment investigations. An investigation can lead not only to discipline against a perpetrator but also to litigation by the victim―or even the perpetrator―against the investigator or the employer. In either of those unsavory situations, the investigator or HR manager may be […]

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Major Decision in Title VII Retaliation Case

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled today (Jan. 26, 2009) that the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 apply to employees who voluntarily cooperate with an employer’s internal investigations, even if the employee didn’t initiate the investigation and has filed no formal charge. In the case, Vicky Crawford was […]

Be Prepared If an Inspector Knocks at Your Door

by Daniel Pugen of McCarthy Tetrault and Karen Sargeant formerly with McCarthy Tetrault In most Canadian provinces, occupational health and safety legislation provides for government inspections. Besides random or regular audits, workplace accidents often will prompt inspections, and especially where an accident has taken place, prosecution of the employer and managers is a potential outcome. […]