Author Archives: awest

Workplace Violence – Are You Prepared?

We all heard the news early on August 26, 2015: TV anchor Alison Parker and camera man Adam Ward were executed on live tv by a former co-worker.  It was shocking, horrifying and unimaginable. In the aftermath, it is not … Continue reading

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California Paid Sick Leave Amendments – They’re Here!

As many of you know, California enacted a paid sick leave statute that began on July 1, 2015 that was rife with confusing and vague language. That didn’t stop the legislature from having the law begin on that date even … Continue reading

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Investigation Training Institute – Association of Workplace Investigators

The quality of an investigation can easily become the deciding factor in resolving an internal complaint or become the solid evidence you need if your case goes to court.  Of course, your investigation can also put a smile on a … Continue reading

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More New Laws in California

This is a rare day – two blog posts!  Governor Brown was busy today.  Two more major changes to the law. Paid Sick Leave is now here. Also called the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, is to provide … Continue reading

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9/9/14 – New in CA: Harassment Training Must Now Cover “Abusive Conduct”

There are times when our legislature gets it right, and today Governor Brown signed AB 2053 which requires employers to now cover “abusive conduct” in their harassment prevention training.  I have always included examples of “bullying” and other abusive conduct … Continue reading

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Do you have a Donald Sterling in your midst?

The news just broke that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver hit Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers, with a lifetime ban from the sport and a $2.5 million fine due to racist remarks attributed to Sterling.  The investigation was prompt, … Continue reading

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238k Reasons Why Interviewing the Complainant and Alleged Wrongdoer Simultaneously Is a Bad Idea

I swear it’s true. Mendoza v. Western Medical Center Santa Ana.  (CA Ct of Appeal, filed 1/14/14) Mendoza received a nice jury award of $238k.  This is another case about the importance of conducting a good faith investigation. Facts: Mendoza … Continue reading

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Lessons for a Happy Life with an HR Spin

We learn life lessons throughout our lives. Sometimes the lessons are from our own mistakes, from being inquisitive, and other times we learn from others.  Often, the lessons are unexpected.  I recently watched a video of Sam Bern, an amazing … Continue reading

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Investigation Training in Houston and Dallas

I love delivering investigation training and I get to do just that in Houston on Monday, January 13 and then in Dallas on Tuesday, January 14.  The training is interactive – no ppt and is filled with tips, tools and, … Continue reading

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$1M Arbitration Award for Shoddy Investigation

I am hoping the title of this post got your attention.  I was retained as an expert for the plaintiff in a case that alleged a poor investigation, breach of implied contract and defamation.  Last week the arbitrators awarded the … Continue reading

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Women harassing men? No way…

Today I read an interesting article about the Co-CEO of Archie Comics, Nancy Silberkleit who was recently sued for $32 million by 5 male employees.  Silberkleit is accused of yelling “Penis! Penis! Penis!” during a business meeting and allegedly acting … Continue reading

Posted in Harassment, Investigations | 3 Comments

Please join me for a free webinar on Investigating Sexual Harassment on 10/31

Managers, HR professionals and investigators must sometimes deal with employees who allege they are being sexually harassed at work. In order to address the allegations properly, they must interview the accuser and accused, verify facts and investigate the harassment allegations … Continue reading

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Heading to the SHRM Annual Conference…

I am excited about my upcoming presentations at the SHRM Annual Conference. If you are heading there, please consider attending my top-rated program – Seven Steps to Creating Bulletproof Documentation.  Here is a link to this Mega Session: http://annual.shrm.org/sessionplanner/session/4629.  I … Continue reading

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A Few Thoughts on Winning and Losing (Go Giants!)

I am not a big sports fan and tend not to use sports analogies in my writing or training. But when you live 20 minutes from a team headed to the World Series, you become, as if by osmosis, a … Continue reading

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Please Join Me for a Free Webinar on the NLRB Confidentiality Dilemma

The NLRB recently ruled that employers who tell employees involved in an internal investigation to keep the details of the investigation confidential must now be prepared to prove that the confidentiality restriction is necessary to further a legitimate business need. … Continue reading

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Beyond Our Borders: after “hola,” then what?

As I noted at the end of my recent blog post, I am on vacation in Barcelona, Spain. My 9 year old son and I take advantage of traveling by doing a home exchange – meaning we swap homes with … Continue reading

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The NLRB Says Go Ahead and Talk about Investigations…

You read the blog title, slap your head and say, “Really?” Last week the NLRB came out with a decision that really has HR and employement attorneys rolling their eyes. In its Banner Health Systems decision, the Board ruled that … Continue reading

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What I Learned from Jerry Seinfeld

Last week Jerry Seinfeld was the entertainment at the SHRM Annual Conference held in Atlanta. He was dressed in a suit which I greatly admired – he took his audience seriously. He was in perfect form and had about 15,000 … Continue reading

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Lessons from Mad Men #1

Ok, so I am a recent addict of the hit show Mad Men and love it.  Although, as an employment attorney I often watch with a gurgling stomach as I am bombarded with non-stop drinking and sexist, racist, homophobic language … Continue reading

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Sheryl Crow’s Brain Tumor and Your Employees

Last week Sheryl Crow announced she had a benign brain tumor.  Thankfully, she is fine.  Her announcement made me wonder: What if one of your employees came in and told you they had a benign tumor?  Are your managers familiar … Continue reading

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