Checklist for Employers Conducting Misconduct Investigations

Checking off list for employers to take when investigating employee misconductWhenever an employer learns of employee behavior that’s inappropriate, unlawful, or violates company policies, it’s time to investigate. California law may require an employer investigation (e.g., for harassment), but even if not legally required, a prompt, fair, and reasonable investigation can help prevent or defend against a potential legal claim. Here’s a handy checklist for employer internal investigations. Continue reading

6 Things Every CA Employer Should Know About Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

The recent allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has renewed awareness of sexual harassment issues in the American public, and hopefully in American employers. California has long required sexual harassment prevention training, but many employers have questions about how it works. Here are some answers. Continue reading

Checklist: What to Include in Anti-Harassment Policies

thinkstockphotos-466150788Employers not only may be held liable for workplace harassment, but they have the potential for separate liability for not taking reasonable steps to prevent the harassment from occurring. Govt C §12940(k). One step every employer should take is to draft and disseminate an anti-harassment policy. Note that the mere existence of a policy prohibiting harassment isn’t enough to shield the employer from liability. To work as a shield, the policy must be adequate and it must be distributed to employees. Does your client’s policy include all of the elements in this checklist? Continue reading

10 Tips for Workplace Investigation Interviews

Businesspeople at meeting

Given the employer’s duty to “take all reasonable steps” to prevent discrimination, harassment, and other unlawful practices (Govt C §12940(h)(5), (k); 29 CFR §1604.11(d)), employment lawyers can expect to  conduct—or assist a client in conducting—a workplace investigation. Although most will be well-acquainted with the fact-finding process, the role of a litigator and the role of an investigator are quite different and implicate different goals, interests, and naturally, a whole host of different problems. Continue reading

Conducting a Fair Workplace Investigation

475850687Every employment attorney at some point will be asked either to conduct or assist with a workplace investigation. Attorneys taking on this role will need to act as a neutral fact finder and refrain from zealous advocacy, a change a pace for many. Continue reading

Action Plan for Handling Harassment Claims

79166511Just in case employers have forgotten how critical it is to avoid and properly handle harassment claims, the recent $1.5 million settlement against JPMorgan should serve as a reminder. Advise all employers to take action and have a plan to protect employees and minimize harassment claims. Continue reading

When Paramour Preference Is Problematic

187471299With love in the air on this Valentine’s Day, here’s a friendly reminder to keep it under check in the workplace. Preferring a lover over others at work may be a natural inclination, but it can lead to a sexual harassment claim. Continue reading

Contracts on Love?

love_200375930-001When love is in the office air, employers should take heed and whip out a love contract! Continue reading

Halloween Harassment

As reported in Corporate Counsel, office Halloween parties can be a nightmare for in-house and other employment lawyers. Costume choices can raise various discrimination and harassment issues  — consider the “illegal alien” costume or the sexy maid get-up.  To keep Halloween fun for all, employers should be proactive, and then reactive when necessary. Continue reading

Confidentiality Agreements in the Spotlight

The situation with Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has not only put the spotlight on him (though not in the way he wants), but it also has drawn interest to confidentiality agreements in settlements. What are they, how are they used, and can the parties get out of them? Continue reading