Why Should an Employer Use an Outside Investigator?
In many cases, an employer's HR staff can conduct a sufficient investigation of an employee issue or concern, particularly if the employer's fact‑finding efforts are overseen by experienced counsel (an oversight role that Karen Kruse often has performed). However, an employer should consider engaging an independent outside investigator in several types of situations:
- More factually complex matters;
- Situations where an internal investigator's objectivity is likely to be doubted (rightly or wrongly) by the workers involved and/or by the management decision makers; and
- Matters that are likely to proceed to litigation.
Choosing an Outside Investigator
If you conclude that your organization would be better served by an outside investigator, then you should look beyond your ordinary circle of professional advisors. This will help you maximize the investigation's usefulness in:
- Impartially determining the essential facts;
- If desired, providing recommendations for employer action; and
- In a worst‑case scenario, helping you defend against litigation of the underlying concerns, by giving you a credible, independent witness who can offer detailed information about what was alleged, what information and documents were obtained, and what the investigation concluded.
KKL's Outside Investigation Services
Karen Kruse Law offers several types of investigation services:
- Alleged harassment or discrimination based on a legally protected trait or status (e.g., race, sex, age, disability, religion, etc.);
- Alleged employee violations of your organization's ethical standards; and
- Other alleged misconduct by your organization's workers or by its higher‑level employees.
If you conclude that you want or need an outside investigation, KKL can give you a tailored investigation proposal. Please contact us to initiate this discussion.
For More Information
Karen Kruse Law offers outside investigation services in Washington State and elsewhere. For more information, or to request an investigation proposal, please contact KKL.