These are challenging times for employers. Now more than ever employees are vocalizing their concerns, issues, and complaints. Workplace claims of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other misconduct are often disruptive, difficult, and time-consuming for an organization. They involve emotion, complexity, and sensitivity, in addition to a myriad of legal landmines that require experience and expertise to navigate. Sometimes these workplace issues can be addressed internally, but often they require third-party support to promptly and thoroughly identify, investigate, and resolve. Utilizing an independent, neutral investigator provides expertise, knowledge, credibility, and an external lens that is extremely valuable in evaluating the veracity and viability of claims, determining exposure, identifying appropriate actions, and minimizing future risk to business operations.
Loutel provides a thorough fact-finding process that analyzes the organization’s documents and policies, interviews the parties and relevant witnesses, and makes factual determinations to bring the matter to resolution. We have extensive experience in representing employers in both federal and state courts as well as in agency proceedings including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), state Human Relations Commissions, and federal and state Departments of Labor (DOL) and we use that experience in our approach to workplace investigations.
We address issues arising under:
· Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
· Title IX of the Education Amendments
· The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
· The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
· The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
· The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Our unique approach not only provides practical recommendations for appropriate action to address and resolve issues discovered in the investigation process, but also incorporates cultural solutions to drive systemic change across the organization and minimize risk to prevent future liability.
The Loutel Investigation Methodology and Approach
When retained to conduct independent investigations on behalf of an organization that has received a complaint, we utilize the following process to evaluate the complaint, interview witnesses, and act in the capacity of an independent, neutral fact-finder to guide the organization toward resolution:
1. Initial Conference
Loutel first conducts an initial intake conference to gather relevant information and strategize the process.
Prior to the interviews, we provide the appropriate disclosures. We conduct thorough interviews and ask the hard questions, evaluating the facts and drawing conclusions.
If requested, Loutel will prepare a comprehensive written report.
2. Document Review
We then conduct a review of applicable laws and regulations, as well as the organization’s policies and procedures.
4. Closing Conference
Finally, Loutel will meet with the organization’s leadership team to discuss its findings, recommendations and next steps. Critical to this process is that the organization come to some final resolution of the complaint and develop a communication plan of action.