The Benefits of an Independent Attorney Investigator

On October 7, 2013, the United States District Court in Massachusetts issued a ruling discussing the potential problems associated with hiring your defense lawyer to perform investigations into employee misconduct.  The case of Koss v. Palmer Water Department is discussed below.

What You Need To Know.  If you want to conduct an investigation into employee misconduct.  You need to bring in an independent investigator as opposed to your regular defense counsel.  Because the investigator could be called as a witness at a subsequent trial and ordered to turn over all his or her work papers, you don’t want your defense lawyer conducting the investigation, testifying as a witness, and being barred from representing you.

The Palmer Water Department received a sexual harassment complaint brought by one of its employees.  If that happened to you, what to do?  Continue reading

Get Your Story Straight Before You Terminate

Here is a great example of how management’s poor planning (and stupidity) can really help an employee’s lawsuit against the company.  The court decision discussed, (Hollingsworth v Sheriff’s Office of Winn Parish, was issued on October 3, 2013.

What You Need to Know.  The key lesson from this case is that employers need to think through the reasons for a termination before taking action, provide terminated employees with accurate explanations for the termination, and make sure the companies actions remain consistent with that explanation even after the termination is complete.  Do not lie to an employee about a termination because, as you will see below, the lie could come back to bite you in court. Continue reading