Because of the current #MeToo Movement and a general focus on protecting human rights, workplace investigations involving issues like sexual harassment and discrimination are becoming more and more common. Dealing with employee complaints about such matters can be time-consuming and complex. Employers are forced to walk a fine line in order to protect their assets and limit their negative exposure while resolving the dispute. For this reason, smart companies throughout Washington State and Oregon turn to the experienced employment dispute team at Human Alchemy, PLLC for assistance in third party internal investigations.
Lead attorney Leah Eccles Watson provides her clients with a highly effective combination of objective insight and well-developed investigative skills. From the time she takes over as third party investigator, she will work efficiently to uncover all pertinent facts so the matter can be resolved promptly. Fully aware of how risky workplace investigations can be for the company involved, she is dedicated to making sure that your business continues to function productively during the investigation and in its aftermath.
Advantages of Using a Third Party Internal Investigator
There are many benefits to using a third party internal investigator. Using an experienced outside employment attorney to look into the problem ensures that:
- The investigation is fair and unbiased
- Sensitive information is carefully protected from those inside and outside the company
- The process takes as little time as possible
- Company attorneys will not become witnesses in any future litigation
- Your organization is fortified against accusations of prejudice and/or cover-up
- Your company maintains its reputation as a safe, healthy, non-discriminatory workplace
You can always count on Leah Watson to give you the personal attention you deserve, to adhere to the rules of procedural fairness, and to deal with any legal conflicts or concerns that arise from a complainant, witness, or respondent. She knows how essential it is to have detailed information to support her conclusions, so wherever possible she will pin down dates, times, locations, and the exact wording of reported conversations.
Having Human Alchemy direct your third party investigation will provide you with a cost-effective, stress-reducing means of dealing with a serious internal problem while allowing your business to continue functioning without interruption.
What precisely does Human Alchemy in third party internal investigations?
When you hire Leah Watson of Human Alchemy as your third party investigator, you can rest assured that you will receive superior service. Once you have met with her and given her all necessary preliminary information, she will begin her investigation into the discrimination or sexual harassment claim by:
- Conducting interviews with the complainant, the accused, and any witnesses
- Gathering all pertinent documents — personnel files, email messages, employee handbooks with stated company policies, written correspondence (post-its, memos)
- Collecting any physical evidence, such as photographs, posted cartoons, gifts, inappropriate objects
- Assessing the evidence to determine where the truth lies by examining facts of the incident(s), the demeanor of those interviewed, past histories of the complainant and alleged offender, possible motives of involved parties to lie about the situation
- Suggesting possible actions you should take to resolve the situation, ranging from changing seating, schedules, or supervisory interactions to having the offender complete harassment/discrimination training, be put on probation or terminated
Finally, the Human Alchemy team will provide your business with documentation of the whole investigatory process from the time you first became aware that there was a problem, to details of all the above-mentioned actions. There will also be a follow-up to establish whether the situation reached a satisfactory conclusion and future misconduct was averted. All of this will be useful in establishing that your company has taken the accusations seriously, had a third party investigate the situation thoroughly, and has (hopefully) avoided subsequent litigation.
The Most Effective Way To Handle Harassment or Discrimination Charges
At Human Alchemy, we know that your company’s reputation profoundly affects your bottom line, so we are proud to be able to offer you excellent third party internal investigations if your company’s reputation is threatened by charges of sexual harassment or workplace discrimination. You can count on us not only to get to the bottom of the case but to protect your company from damaging rumors and interrupted productivity.
What Hiring Us as a Third Party Internal Investigator Shows About Your Business
Engaging our services when you need misconduct charges investigated is a wise move. For one thing, it gives you credibility as a company that takes allegations of inappropriate, offensive, and illegal behavior to heart.
For another, it demonstrates that your business is willing to have an objective third party examine the inner workings of your business, showing that you have nothing to hide and are prepared to root out any misbehavior that challenges your goal of being a fair and reputable enterprise. Your use of a third party investigator also fends off any accusations that you are simply “going through the motions” of uncovering the truth. Moreover, it ensures that any witnesses interviewed have no reason to lie since they can ask that certain statements they make be kept confidential.
Using Human Alchemy as a third party internal investigator also helps to protect you against charges of retaliation from the person who has been accused of misconduct since you now have a dossier that attests to the steps taken to validate the charges. Furthermore, the fact that the investigator is not part of your team makes it implausible that she has a vested interest in revealing information that would result in retaliation or that she will hold a grudge against the accused employee.
Be Proactive — Contact Human Alchemy Now
If your business has been shaken by charges of harassment or discrimination, don’t be accused of procrastination. Take the important step of contacting Leah Watson, an employment attorney in the Pacific Northwest with extensive experience as a third party internal investigator. From her offices in Portland and Vancouver, she will provide you premium service and ongoing support.