Workplace Investigations Attorneys Help Businesses Discover and Avoid Potential Problems
Thorough investigations and reports on misconduct allegations for employers nationwide
If an organization needs an answer about an issue affecting its workplace, we can help find it and deal successfully with its effects. Public and private businesses of all sizes have called upon us to probe and advise them on matters encompassing criminal and civil law issues. Clients also frequently call upon us to conduct confidential internal and formal official investigations of a wide variety of issues. These issues include theft, embezzlement, misappropriation of corporate assets, disclosure of trade secrets and whistleblowing claims. They involve unlawful discrimination or harassment, supervisory favoritism, incompetence leading to turnover, employee alienation, and vulnerability to union organization. Our Firm provides efficient, thorough, meticulous, and independent investigative services and reports to enable private and public sector employers to resolve internal problems that have the potential to damage reputations and public support, investor relations, and employee trust.
DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick and Benjamin, LLC workplace investigation attorneys are well-known both for their comprehensive knowledge of workplace laws and regulations, the best human resources practices, and for their practical experience in assisting employers in applying them to the myriad of circumstances and problems arising in workplaces. Their knowledge is accumulated from over 50 years of practicing employment and labor law, conducting workplace investigations, advising employers on the applicable legal requirements and their implications and teaching in graduate university settings and managerial and supervisory workshops. It also derives from their long experience in litigating employment issues. It has contributed to our unique “360-degree approach” to workplace investigations, the results of which never have been challenged successfully in any court or agency.
Skilled lawyers clarify how to deal with an employee complaint
An employer who learns an employee believes they have been mistreated or subjected to a hostile work environment must address such problems promptly, thoroughly, and objectively. The first step is to define the questions so the investigation will be properly focused and efficiently conducted. This enables the employer to gather the information necessary to determine the validity and true dimensions of the problem. Even complaints appearing as minor sometimes mask more serious issues looming below the organization’s surface. Such complaints may have a far larger potential for causing economic or other harm to the organization. To err on the side of caution by initiating a thorough investigation is often best to protect the employer’s interests, especially where complaints about executives’ or managers’ decisions reflect directly upon the organization’s integrity and the lawfulness of its policies and practices.
For more information on ways to avoid employee complaints, visit our Workplace Investigations FAQ page.
Attorneys act when clients need workplace investigations
Many scenarios demand a workplace investigation by skilled investigators with a solid knowledge of the law and experience in applying them in business settings. Government agencies and businesses of all sizes have called upon our attorneys over the years to investigate allegations including theft, embezzlement, expense account padding, and internal policy violations. Workplace investigations are essential for a successful outcome where the allegations relate to harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblower claims, favoritism, intimidation, unsafe work conditions or a hostile work environment. An investigation will uncover violations of internal policies or federal or state employment laws and assist the organization to formulate effective responses to the allegations. We can advise you about investigative steps to take based on the unique circumstances of your case.
For a step-by-step explanation of our Firm's approach to investigations, check out our Workplace Investigations FAQ page.
Law enforcement department investigations
Most law enforcement departments maintain internal bureaus or offices to investigate police misconduct. These commonly are designated the “Internal Affairs Office” or “Office of Professional Standards.” Individuals assigned to these departments frequently receive specialized POST-certified training that focuses on criminal and internal administrative matters. These investigators are specially trained to examine and determine whether law enforcement officers have violated criminal laws or their departments’ internal standing orders or standard operating procedures. They are familiar with “Garrity warnings,” criminal justice concepts and criminal standards of proof that apply to the charges they investigate. However, they rarely are trained in employment or labor law issues. They are not equipped to inquire into whistleblower complaints, unlawful discrimination, or harassment charges. Claims of wage-hour law violations, and unlawful retaliation usually are beyond what they learn in most internal affairs investigation courses.
Major differences exist between the principles applicable to such claims as compared to the policy or criminal law violations they usually investigate. For example, an inquiry into a sexual harassment charge raised by a subordinate against a peer or superior officer differs greatly from an investigation into a criminal corruption or insubordination claim. The manner in which a law enforcement agency internally investigates such allegations may become a critical element in an agency’s defense against or liability for such civil rights law violations. It will be scrutinized or second guessed by federal administrative agencies, and ultimately by the Courts. Investigations of such matters require extensive knowledge of federal and state employment law and regulations, plus critical differences in determining whether violations of these statutes exist. Even with internal affairs investigators for the largest and most sophisticated of law enforcement agencies, the knowledge and experience needed to conduct thorough and competent investigations into employment law and civil rights violations in these matters are insufficient.
Our firm is uniquely equipped to assist law enforcement agencies in such cases. Our attorneys are experts in federal and state labor and employment law – especially those laws and regulations affecting police and sheriff’s agencies. Serving for nearly thirty years as General Counsel to the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, including a term as an Executive Board member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Michael Caldwell has counseled leadership of state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies and professional associations on human resource management issues arising every day in their agencies. He also teaches graduate-level public employee management law at the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College and at numerous seminars throughout the United States, and at FBI-LEEDS programs as General Counsel for the Georgia FBI National Academy Associates.
Contact an experienced investigations attorney for help with workplace complaints
At DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick & Benjamin, LLC our attorneys have extensive experience investigating workplace complaints to help employers resolve potentially damaging issues. To schedule a consultation, call our firm at 470-443-0524 or contact us online. Our office is ADA accessible.