Providing Experience, Objectivity and Understanding to Employment Matters
In today’s fast-moving environment there are many drivers for completing workplace investigations, some of which are:
- To determine the facts surrounding potential harassment or discrimination
- To provide the framework for appropriate disciplinary action
- To be compliant with Federal and State laws
- To ensure a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment
- To mitigate costly litigation and provide support for summary judgment
- To increase employee productivity and reduce turnover
- To reinforce the cultural values of an organization
Why Should Your Company Hire
Strategy People Culture, LLC Investigators?
Companies may perform investigations on their own behalf or may use external counsel to perform the investigation.
Investigation reports are discoverable in litigation and the investigator is subject to being deposed and called as a witness to litigation. The advantages of hiring an independent investigator include:
Experience with Investigations
An expert will be focused on the proper way to conduct investigations, which may reduce potentially costly mistakes.
Lack of Conflict of interest
Eliminates any potential conflict of interest if internal employees or external counsel had previously handled the investigation.
Conversations with the employer’s outside counsel can remain privileged if an independent investigator is tasked with fact-finding.
Removes the possibility of the existence of management (including human resources) who may have a conscious or unconscious bias towards protecting the company, or may not be able to effectively identify the facts of a matter.
Transparency of Investigations
Will show employees and a potential jury that you take these matters seriously and want objective fact-finding in pursuit of the truth.
- Philosophy – Strategy People Culture is managed by a former C-level executive who is legally trained and an HR expert; we are impartial in our investigations and empathize with the concerns of all potential parties in mind.
- Focused Experience - We have experience conducting investigations involving all levels of employees across many industries.
- Pragmatic - Strategy People Culture understands the importance of meeting legal obligations and being practical with our clients.
- Attorneys – We are licensed attorneys, not practicing lawyers, and will not replace your attorney.
- Cost-effective – Strategy People Culture is often less expensive than hiring outside counsel.
- Respect - Strategy People Culture is respectful of everyone involved and understands the complexities that surround these issues.
- C.A.R.E.TM – The cornerstone to Strategy People Culture’s operating principles: we operate with Conviction, Adaptability & Accountability, Realness, and Enthusiasm. Our goal to help employers understand the circumstances leading to our involvement is important to us.
- Ethics and integrity are elements in everything Strategy People Culture does.
- Confidential - Strategy People Culture’s strong code of ethics prevents disclosure of client information beyond the legal boundaries of subpoenas, depositions, and litigations; no information will be shared with outside parties unless legally required to do so.
Frequently Asked Questions
The biggest reason for hiring an outside company such as Strategy People Culture to perform an investigation of an employee complaint is for objectivity and neutrality. The sad truth is, internal employees who are often conducting investigations have competing interests around the results of the investigation. To get to an objective conclusion is critical. Hiring an independent company has many implications, including risk management. Ask yourself, if you had to defend your company in a court case, what do you think would have more credibility in front of a jury: a member of your company's management, a member of your company's human resources team, or an expert independent and neutral third party.
Investigations vary in size, scope, and complexity. Strategy People Culture prides itself on being flexible to move quickly if and when our clients are ready. We understand there can be time sensitive and SPC will work with you on meeting your time requirements. If time horizons and expectations are not achievable, you can expect us to communicate proactively with you.
There is not a one-size-fits-all to investigations. Often, investigations involve interviewing complainants, potential bad actors, and possible witnesses and looking to find corroborating support in other ways. Usually, the goal of an investigation is to try to determine if a particular action, more likely than not did or did not, occur based on a preponderance of evidence standard.
We do not share information on our investigations with anyone other than the client contact and other authorized members of the client. We do not actively share information with other parties, including witnesses unless considered helpful for an individual interview. We do not commit to absolute confidentiality; however, as a general rule, we take reasonable effort to treat information as confidential. Please note, our investigations are generally not subject to privilege. You should consult with your attorney prior to hiring us.
Too often, we see employers not take some basic preventative measures against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace until after they have a problem. We strongly recommend all employers have anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies, complaint procedures, and provide regular training in this area. Additionally, being deliberate on your culture in a way that mitigates discriminatory situations may be extremely helpful.