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Practice Area

07. Employee Relations & Investigations

Employee Relations

Employee Relations is an overarching concept: it is the cultural dynamic between the employer and employee that impacts every aspect of the working experience.  It starts with employers envisioning what kind of workplace culture they want to have, and then carrying out practices that are conducive to their vision.  

The employer-employee relationship is founded on legal principles that are constantly changing, which means the law is a crucial part of any employment relationship.  Employees simply expect their employer to be compliant with every employment law out there.  Thus, employer noncompliance creates risk to an organization's finances, culture, and reputation.

Here are some examples of where PractiCali Law provides Employee Relations advising that may substantially reduce legal and cultural risks:

  • Expectation Setting and other Contractual Obligations

  • Adverse Employment Actions such as Terminations and Disciplinary Action

  • Job Changes and Promotions

  • Performance Management

  • Negotiation Strategy

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Offboarding

  • Severances

  • Reduction-in-Force ("RIF" or "Layoff")

  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

  • Protected activities

  • Unionization 


Let's face it: workplace investigations are intense.  They're born from conflict and they're a stressor on all parties involved.  Most employees would prefer to avoid them, and many request that they don't even happen at all.  But there are times when employers should conduct an investigation, and there are times when they must conduct an investigation; failure to do so could result in costly litigation and findings of fault.

In California, only certain individuals (such as HR staff, certified investigators, or attorneys) are qualified to conduct legally required workplace investigations.  Poorly or improperly conducted investigations can expose organizations to substantial legal and cultural risks. 


Organizations must also understand that their regular attorney(s) should not be conducting investigations; this is because your attorney is 100% on your side, whereas an investigator should be neutral.  Lack of investigator neutrality can cause an entire investigation to be thrown out.  Thus, it is common for a separately distinct attorney-investigator to be brought into the picture.

Whether conducting or advising on a workplace investigation, PractiCali Law understands how to navigate the following criteria that may make or break your investigation: 

  • Investigator Neutrality

  • Investigator Competence

  • Scope of Investigation

  • Credibility Factors

  • Standard of Proof

  • Planning and Strategy

  • Evidence Analysis

  • Respondent's Rights

  • Attorney-Client Privilege Implications

Request a Free Intake

Employers with complex employee situations can reach out for a free initial intake consultation.  The goal of our intake process is to get to know you and your needs.  From there, we are able to tailor our advisement to your context and optimize effectiveness.

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