Geralynn Patellaro has been practicing law for the last 20 years and is licensed in California and Nevada. During her time, she’s seen every conceivable workplace investigation and has experienced all facets of where it can go. In this webinar, Geralynn answers some frequently asked questions from employers, business owners, and HR. She covers everything from workplace sexual harassment lawsuits to how to conduct an investigation with international jurisdictions and witnesses.
A little bit about Geralynn and her background in law. There are certain distinctions you need to be aware of on who can do outside workplace investigation in the state of California and Nevada. When you take the time to investigate an issue, it’s going to look like to the jury that you took this workplace issue seriously. Does investigation seem too serious of a word? Geralynn recommends calling it a “fact-finding” mission. Who should do the workplace investigation? What options do employers have? You have to do the best investigation you can, based on the information provided. Geralynn offers things she considers when she’s working with a client on an investigation case. You have to understand what you’re legally/required to turn over vs. what information you don’t have to turn over. If your investigation involves someone who is not a U.S. citizen, there are distinctions you need to be aware of, too. Sometimes an investigation boils down to a “he said, she said.” What do you do then? Geralynn shares the EEOC’s five credibility factors and DFEH’s nine factors. Quick shout out to Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows. All proceeds from this webinar will be donated to them. Please consider donating. Does the employee need to inform you that they’re recording their investigation interview? What’s the best way to talk to the complainant? What do you do if both parties in dispute have to continue working with each other? After the investigation, check in with the complainant. This is where the hard work truly begins. How do you ask questions without alarming staff members? The manager often doesn’t want to escalate a situation to HR. Geralynn’s philosophy is that if a manager can handle it, let him or her do it, but at least document it with HR. Geralynn offers some final piece of wisdom: Just document what you can. No report is perfect, but there should be a paper trail for why things couldn’t get followed up on and more. What should you look for in an interpreter if an employee is not a native English speaker?