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Program Description

Investigating Workplace Complaints: Maintaining A Fair Environment




Approved for CLE credit in: AK,AZ,CA,IL,ME,MO,ND,NJ,NV,NY,TX

An employee complains to her employer of "harassment," "discrimination," being "treated unfairly," or that the company is engaged in some sort of unlawful activity. In-house legal counsel are by now well aware that such complaints need to be "investigated." But what does that mean? Using a case study, the seminar will help you answer this question by examining:

  • The steps in the investigation process, including handling the complaint, gathering the necessary facts, preparing a report, and deciding on any necessary corrective action
  • Who should conduct each step of the investigation
  • The proper manner for documenting an investigation and its conclusions
  • Avoiding retaliation against complainants and witnesses

Recorded 12/6/2006
Running Time: 2 Hours 37 Minutes

Provided By: New York City Bar


I. Introduction

II. The Duty to Investigate

  • When the Duty Arises
  • Prompt" & "Thorough" Investigation
  • Employer's Exercise of Reasonable Care/ Effects of Farragher and Ellerth

III. Conducting an Internal Investigation

  • Who Should Conduct/ Privilege
  • Eliciting the Relevant Facts
  • Preliminary Considerations
  • Whom to interview, in what order, where
  • Asking the Right Questions
  • Explaining "one-way" confidentiality and no representation
  • Question style, pitfalls, hearsay
  • Weingarten issues
  • Caution about retaliation
  • Employee Requests to Terminate Interview
  • Following Up
  • Supporting documents & information
  • Video surveillance, employee searches, polygraph tests

IV. Tips for Investigators

  • Documenting the Investigation
  • Confidentiality Concerns

V. Results of the Investigation

  • Credibility Determinations
  • Memorializing the Investigation
  • Effective Remedial Action

VI. Potential Claims Arising from the Investigation

  • Defamation
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Invasion of Privacy
  • False Imprisonment
  • Retaliation
  • Discrimination
  • Wrongful Discharge

VII. Questions & Answers

CLE Credit Information

Click on the state abbreviation to find the CLE Credit Information for your state.

This program is has been approved for credit in AK,AZ,CA,IL,ME,MO,ND,NJ,NV,NY,TX

Experienced attorneys only (non-transitional)

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No related programs information available.

Panelist Biographies

Rebecca E. White

Managing Director and Head of the Employment Law Group
UBS Investment Bank

Rebecca E. White is a Managing Director and Head of the Employment Law Group at UBS Investment Bank in Stamford, Connecticut. She supervises the Investment Bank's employment lawyers in the Americas and heads the Global Business team of UBS TB employment lawyers located in Continental Europe, the United Kingdom and Asia. She joined the former Union Bank of Switzerland in 1997 as Head of Litigation and Internal Investigations. Ms. White counsels senior UBS management and Human Resources on a broad range of employment and litigation matters including hiring and reductions in force, discrimination, contract negotiations for senior hires, restrictive covenants, Affirmative Action, HR policies and procedures and internal investigations. She represents UBS in employment related litigation in federal and state courts, before administrative agencies and in arbitration. She is also actively involved in UBS IB's diversity initiatives and is counsel to UBS Investment Bank's Executive Diversity Committee, Head of the Legal and Compliance Departments' Global Diversity Committee and runs the Legal Department's Diversity Summer Internship Program. She is also a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York's Committee to Enhance Diversity. Before joining UBS in 1997, Ms. White was a litigation partner in the New York office of Loeb & Loeb LLP, a national law firm where she litigated complex commercial, banking, securities and white collar criminal cases, as well as employment discrimination and employee non-competition and bonus matters. Ms. White was educated in the United Kingdom and then received her law degree in the U.S. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (Yeshiva University) in 1988. Ms. White frequently conducts training and lectures on US employment law, conducting internal investigations, SOX whistleblower claims and international employment law issues faced by global films.

Merrick T. Rossein

Professor of Law
City University of New York Law School at Queens College

Merrick T. Rossein, Professor of Law and former acting Dean at the City University of New York Law School at Queens College. He serves as an arbitrator and mediator on the National Employment, Commercial, and International Panels of the American Arbitration Association. He serves on the U.S. EEOC Mediation Panel. He teaches trial practice, employment discrimination, employment, civil rights, constitutional and administrative law. He is the author of the widely used three-volume treatise, EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION LAW AND LITIGATION (Thomson West) and the Editor of the two volume EMPLOYMENT LAW DESK BOOK FOR HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONALS (Thomson West), along with many other publications, such as The Costs of Resolving Employment Disputes Through Arbitration: Are Arbitration Agreements That Require Employees to Share Costs Enforceable? in ADR and the Law 2003, American Arbitration Association, Fordham Law School International Law Journal, Fordham Law School Urban Law Journal; (2003). His Firm, Mr. Rossein Associates, provides human resources consultation with both private (including Fortune 500 firms) and public sector employers, including the Greater London Council, the City of San Francisco, New York State Police and the City of New York, for whom he drafted its affirmative action plan. (212) 886-4565. He has provided litigation support to both plaintiff and management law firms, including expert reports on complaint mechanisms and investigations, and conducts independent neutral fact investigations. He also provides training, including sexual harassment prevention and diversity. He litigated numerous race, sex, age and disability discrimination cases, including the landmark sexual harassment case of EEOC v. Sage Realty Corporation. A frequent lecturer on all aspects of employment discrimination and employment law, he addressed such groups as recently appointed United States District Court Judges for the Federal Judicial Center, the American Law Institute/ American Bar Association (ALI/ABA), the Equal Employment Advisory Council, the Practicing Law Institute, the National Employment Lawyers Association, the Greater London Council and the Women's Law Center in South Africa. He served as a Commissioner of the City of New York Equal Employment Practices Commission, was a member of the Governor's Task Force on Sexual Harassment, as co-chair of the law and regulation committee, a member of the NYC Commission on Women's Task Force on Sexual Harassment, and was Secretary and on the executive committee of the New York State Bar Association, Section on Labor and Employment. He is also a member of the ABA Section on Labor and Employment, EEO and ADR Committees where he was the first Scholar-in-Residence. He was on the Board of Advisors of New York Employment Law and Practice and for West Group for employment and labor books. He appeared on national and international media discussing discrimination issues including on the Today Show (NBC), Good Morning America (ABC), CNN, Court TV, CNBC, NHK Japanese TV, Fox News Network, and quoted in newspapers including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, New York Law Journal, National Law Journal, ABA Journal, Newsday and the Lawyer's Weekly.

Kevin T. Mintzer

Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C.

Kevin T. Mintzer joined Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C. in 1999. Mr. Mintzer's practice focuses on representing individuals in state and federal courts in all aspects of employment law, including discrimination, contract, ERISA, and non-compete litigation. Mr. Mintzer graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1993 and from New York University Law School in 1996, where he was an editor of the New York University Law Review. Before joining Vladeck, Waldman, Mr. Mintzer served as a law clerk for the Honorable Robert E. Cowen of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and for the Honorable Charles P. Sifton of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Lloyd B. Chinn

Proskauer Rose

Lloyd B. Chinn is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group. He litigates employment disputes of all types before federal and state courts, arbitration tribunals (e.g., FINRA, JAMS and AAA), and before administrative agencies in New York and across the country. Lloyd's practice ranges from litigating compensation disputes to defending whistleblower, discrimination and sexual harassment claims. Although he represents employers in a wide range of industries, including law, insurance, health care, consulting, media, education and technology, he focuses a substantial portion of his practice on the financial services sector. He has tried to final verdict or arbitration award substantial disputes in this area. Lloyd has represented global businesses in matters involving Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims. He has taken an active role in the American Bar Association on these issues, currently serving as Whistleblower Track Coordinator for the November 2014 ABA Annual Employment Law Conference to be held in Los Angeles and as Co-Chair of the Whistleblower subcommittee of the ABA Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee. He has testified twice before Congressional subcommittees regarding whistleblower legislation and has also published blog postings, articles and client alerts on a variety of topics in this area, including the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions. In addition, Lloyd is a co-editor of Proskauer’s Whistleblower Defense Blog, and he has been widely quoted by on whistleblower topics by a number of publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the National Law Journal and Law 360.

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Investigating Workplace Complaints: Maintaining A Fair Environment



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