Total Articles: 13
Ogletree Deakins • July 19, 2017
All companies should have mechanisms through which employees can voice concerns and feel confident that (a) those concerns will be taken seriously, (b) those concerns will be fairly and promptly investigated, and (c) misconduct, if it is found, will be corrected. However, if unconscious bias infects decision-making when it comes to workplace investigations, employees will feel the system is rigged against them—no matter how well-written a company policy is, no matter how many avenues are given to employees to lodge complaints, and no matter how much a company talks about a culture of accountability. Fortunately, there are a number of steps workplace investigators can take to minimize the chances that this will occur.
Ogletree Deakins • July 18, 2017
Unconscious bias (also called “implicit bias”) has become a trending topic—both in the general media and in the HR world. The topic of unconscious bias is often cited when considering ways companies can improve their diversity and inclusion efforts by recruiting and retaining diverse talent. It’s also critically relevant in the context of conducting workplace investigations because an essential duty of any workplace investigator is to conduct independent, unbiased inquiries about allegations of workplace misconduct.
HR professionals, probably more often than they would like, find themselves having to determine whether an employee is telling the truth, particularly during an internal investigation where they are being presented with several versions of the same event.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • September 06, 2016
Having an effective and consistent investigation process can play an important role in a company's culture. Join Kathy Cooper Franklin, Littler shareholder, as she talks about creating a speak-up workplace culture, walks you through the six stages of an investigation, and explains the importance of written guidelines in an investigation process. This podcast provides employers with insight and tips for conducting internal investigations in the workplace.
Ogletree Deakins • May 19, 2016
Another day, another political scandal involving a politician accused of having had an extramarital affair. The latest such story concerns an alleged inappropriate relationship that the governor of Alabama had with a top aide—once again raising issues related to investigating allegations of bad behavior at work. Details have not been released about the various investigations that might have taken place in this case. But we do know that Governor Robert Bentley has admitted to making sexually-charged comments to Senior Political Advisor Rebekah Mason, though he denies having had a physical affair with her. Additionally, Alabama Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier—the state’s former chief law enforcement officer who broke the news of the alleged affair—was fired for allegedly engaging in his own misconduct at work. This controversy once again presents several learning lessons for those of us who routinely conduct workplace investigations.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 12, 2016
Internal investigations are not new in human resources. Employee complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination, or of retaliation for making these complaints, have provided healthy fodder for internal workplace investigations for many years.
Franczek Radelet P.C • April 28, 2016
An Illinois Appellate Court has further limited the public records that a public body can withhold from disclosure under Section 7(1)(n) of the Freedom of Information Act, which exempts “records relating to a public body’s adjudication of employee grievances and disciplinary cases.” The court held in Peoria Journal Star v. City of Peoria that an internal disciplinary report that was created before any adjudication took place and existed independent of any adjudication was merely an investigatory report, not an adjudicative one. That the report later led to disciplinary action did not make it exempt under Section 7(1)(n).
Ogletree Deakins • October 14, 2015
Resolving conflict in the workplace is a key issue for employers. Legal requirements have continued to expand in terms of what courts expect employers to do in order to prevent and correct wrongful behavior. In response, employers have increased mechanisms through which employees can lodge complaints related to their work environments. Employees have embraced their ability to provide information to their employers about problems they are experiencing, which has exponentially increased the importance of conflict resolution.
Ogletree Deakins • August 04, 2015
Over the years, the topic of workplace investigations has gained increasing importance in the HR and employment law world. Now, with investigations routinely making headlines, they have become a part of our popular culture as well. Most recently, the investigation conducted and conclusions reached on issues related to “Deflategate” have triggered national attention and controversy. Tom Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension was upheld last week. In addition to the intrigue surrounding one of the country’s most well-known athletes, the issues raised in this story also provide great learning lessons for those of us who routinely conduct investigations.
ManpowerGroup • September 07, 2012
When you shouldn't say shhhh.
Ogletree Deakins • May 04, 2009
Sharon Sybrandt was fired from her position as an Operations Assistant Manager at one of Home Depot’s Nashville stores after she allowed a co-worker to use her password-protected user ID to modify a special order transaction for Sybrandt. In addition, Sybrandt herself subsequently entered computerized “notes” on the transaction, indicating that she wanted to cancel part of the order and receive a refund. Both actions were in violation of the company’s “no-self-serve” policy. After Sybrandt was replaced by a male employee, she sued Home Depot, alleging gender discrimination under both federal and state laws. The lower court granted the company’s motion for summary judgment in April 2008, and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal recently upheld that decision.
Fisher Phillips • February 04, 2009
In the last issue of Healthcare Update, we discussed the recent decision of Furline v. Morrison. In that case the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned a jury award against Howard University Hospital. The fact that the hospital had conducted a thorough independent investigation into allegations of age bias weighed heavily in the Court's decision.
Fisher Phillips • November 06, 2008
In the current economy, many managers and supervisors are being asked to do more with less, and success in today's market is marked by efficiency. Increasingly, managers and supervisors are being given more authority to handle personnel related matters and have less time to devote to handling such issues with care.