Employment Investigations

Overview

Various situations arising in the workplace – for example, alleged discrimination or harassment, workplace bullying or abuse, inappropriate use of the internet or social media, theft of company property, fraud, policy breaches, statutory violations, or allegations of just cause – can trigger the need for an investigation. The increasing complexity of these situations, and the risk of not handling them properly, can have serious repercussions for even the most sophisticated businesses.

BakerHostetler has guided clients through every phase of investigations, with an approach customized for their specific circumstances and cultures. We frequently conduct internal investigations regarding allegations of serious employee misconduct, whether those complaints are made to the company through its human resources, employee relations or general counsel’s office, or through anonymous hotlines or messages.

Although we counsel and train many of our clients to do these investigations in-house, it is sometimes necessary to call in a third party when the claims are, for example, of a particularly egregious nature, have received significant press, need absolute impartiality or implicate those in very senior positions. In so doing, we have conducted thorough investigations in a discreet, disarming and tactful manner, resulting in unbiased fact finding. This often includes coordinating the collection and review of various documents, conducting witness interviews, and drafting an investigation report.

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We also have assisted in effectuating prompt remedial action when necessary, working with the employer to tailor any remedial action to the specific circumstances, including but not limited to discipline, termination, and instituting proper training or changing policies/practices to avoid any potential future inappropriate conduct. An outside investigator and implementation of proper remedial action ensure that an employer has a foundation for a solid defense if litigation later ensues.

Additionally, we conduct sensitive investigations of allegations including reported violations of employment laws, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and industry-specific safety claims, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violations, financial reporting requirements, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, often resolving them without adverse publicity, reputational harm, litigation or charges. We also have the ability to assist in multidisciplinary investigations, which may invoke compliance, white collar crimes or other issues.

Select Experience

  • Assisted a renowned medical institution in investigating claims that a physician had engaged in improper relations with a patient.
  • Assisted an oil company in investigating claims of racial discrimination and other malfeasant conduct alleged against its legal department.
  • Assisted a world-class medical institution in one-on-one training for its physicians regarding proper conduct, specifically related to sexual harassment.
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Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Partner New York

Experience

  • Assisted a renowned medical institution in investigating claims that a physician had engaged in improper relations with a patient.
  • Assisted an oil company in investigating claims of racial discrimination and other malfeasant conduct alleged against its legal department.
  • Assisted a world-class medical institution in one-on-one training for its physicians regarding proper conduct, specifically related to sexual harassment.
  • Represented a retail fashion brand through an OSHA investigation into alleged workplace safety violations, resulting in drastically reduced fines.
  • Represented a medical institution through an OSHA investigation into alleged workplace hazards related to COVID-19, resulting in OSHA closing out the investigation after one letter.
  • Conduct sensitive investigations of allegations including alleged violations of employment laws, FCPA violations, OSHA and industry-specific safety claims, U.S. EPA violations, financial reporting requirements, and FDA regulations, often resolving them without adverse publicity, reputational harm, litigation or charges.

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