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Protecting HR During Internal Investigations
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Protecting HR During Internal Investigations
How to Protect HR During Investigations and What Happens When You Don’t
Thursday, May 16 at 3:00pm ET | (2:00pm CT, 1:00pm MT, 12:00pm PT)
Duration: 90 minutes
Just as recently as last year, in a decision that impacts all of HR, courts have ruled that when HR does its job and conducts an internal investigation on discrimination or harassment, and as a result is fired for doing so, they are not protected by the anti-retaliation provision of Title VII.
Take a minute to understand just what this means for HR, your company and your bottom line. The courts essentially found that Title VII does not specifically include employer investigations, as it does the EEOC’s, and insinuates that HR isn’t protected. Does this court decision mean that companies should utilize an outside or third party investigator? What happens if a company refuses to follow that investigator’s recommendation?
Considering the above, what should HR’s role be when conducting investigations, especially those involving senior management? Should investigators be protected for “just doing their job?” How independent should HR be?
Join Charles Krugel, an experienced labor and employment attorney, as he helps you answers all of these questions and more. He will discuss HR’s responsibility and options when it comes to harassment investigations as well as what we can expect for future court ruling on this issue.
During this 90-minute webinar, attendees will learn:
On 5/2, I was featured in MO.com, modus operandi or method of operating. MO.com interviews & features entrepreneurs across all industries & from around the world. They focus on entrepreneurship & what makes entrepreneurs tick. My profile is available here & below. Thanks to everyone at MO.com for this.
“Pay very close attention to a candidate’s behavior & personality. You want to hire someone that you feel comfortable with.”
Labor & Employment Law on Behalf of Business; Human Resources Attorney & Counselor
As a management side labor and employment attorney and human resources (HR) counselor, Charles Krugel has 17-plus years of experience in the field and has been running his own practice for 12-plus years. Charles has worked on both “sides of the fence;” that is, he’s worked for management & as an in-house counsel for a labor union. These experiences have taught him that he’s much more sympathetic to the needs of business rather than 3rd party interveners like government regulators & labor unions.
Charles’ clients are small to medium sized companies in a variety of industries such as options & securities trading, technology, baking & manufacturing. In addition to providing them traditional labor and employment law services, he represents companies desiring to institute preventive and proactive HR functions. These functions include policies & procedures, which help to efficiently and discreetly resolve issues in-house & prevent lawsuits & complaints. They also help to reduce costs & act as catalysts for increasing productivity & profits. For analysis of what clients think of him, please see his “Client Testimonials” web page.
MO: How much did your father owning a chain of pharmacies and your grandfather owning and running his own grocery stores inspire your path of entrepreneurship?
Charles: These greatly influenced me. I worked in some of my dad’s stores & heard stories about my grandfather’s business growing up. So, to an extent, I’ve been “bred” to be an independent businessperson. This independent streak actually runs through a lot of my relatives, on both sides of my family. Many of them have owned their own businesses (distribution, parking lots, textiles, etc.). Being Jewish in Chicago, I grew up hearing stories about anti-Semitism & related issues that my relatives dealt with. Historically, Jews were denied many opportunities, & like other minorities we had to create our own channels for financial success. This has all played into my desire to remain independent & serve smaller businesses.
Thanks to Dr. Lynne Curry, of The Growth Company, for quoting me in her recent article ”Tweet Sets Off Social Media Tsunami.” This concerns the recent firing of a female employee for Tweeting about sexual “jokes” told by 2 male individuals at a business conference. At a public presentation, during the conference, she Tweeted about these 2 guys telling crude jokes about women. She also Tweeted their photos. The males’ employer got wind of this & fired them. After the conference, the woman’s employer got wind of this too & fired her. Bad move, because if she sues, her former employer will probably be held liable for retaliatory discharge (i.e., adverse action against an employee for opposing illegal harassing or discriminatory conduct). The article is below.
Tweet Sets Off Social Media Tsunami
When female tech developer Adria Richards heard a group of men sitting behind her at a conference make sexist comments, it grossed her out.
She tweeted their picture to her 9,000 followers with the caption “Not cool. Jokes about forking repo’s in a sexual way and ‘big’ dongles. Right behind me.”
Richards asked conference managers to deal with the men, citing the conference’s rules of conduct. Administrators escorted the men out of the ballroom.
Richards’ tweet set off a social media tsunami and led to one of the jokers and Richards being fired. Richards’ critics blasted her, protested that the men were only making childish geek jokes and threatened her with rape and death threats.
While her former CEO said his company supported Richards’ right to report offensive sexual comments, he said she crossed the line by tweeting the men’s comments and photographs. “Publicly shaming the offenders — and bystanders — was not the appropriate way to handle the situation. Needless to say, a heated public debate ensued. The discourse, productive at times, quickly spiraled into extreme vitriol.”
He terminated Richards, stating her actions divided and alienated the developer community she was hired to strengthen. He added that “the consequences that resulted from how she reported the conduct put our business in danger.”
Chuck Krugel Interview on The Recruiting Animal Show – The Relationship Between Company Culture & Diversity & Whether Recruiters Contribute to Bias
On 4/10/13, I did my 7th interview for The Recruiting Animal’s Blog Talk Radio show. For about 15 minutes The Recruiting Animal & I discussed the relationship between cultural fit & diversity, & whether recruiters contribute to bias when trying to hire for fit. In addition to the podcast, below is additional information, via written correspondence between Animal & myself, regarding this topic. My segment of the show, 15 minutes, is here as an MP3. Also, the entire show can be found on the web here.
According to The Recruiting Animal: Corporate recruiters talk endlessly about the importance of cultural fit while their HR departments talk endlessly about diversity. The two ideas seem opposed to me. Fit says we want to hire people like ourselves & diversity says we want to hire people who are not like us — & it’s backed by law.
On April 10, 2013, I appeared on the PSLaborTalk podcast discussing the “Two-Front War: Micro-Unions & Corporate Campaigns.” PSLaborTalk is produced by PSLC, Permanent Solutions Labor Consultants, based out of Detroit.
We discussed union corporate campaigns and micro-unions. Both topics include novel union organizing tactics that specialize in comprehensive & clandestine bargaining unit certification. This episode provides valuable insight into the less-discussed strategies employed by union organizers, as well as predictions on how these trends will develop.
I appeared with Ricardo Torres, President and CEO & Bob Carroll, Executive Vice President, both with PSLC, moderator James Bishop, & guest, Clifford Hammond. Clifford is a former SEIU attorney who has switched sides and is currently working as a prominent management-side labor and employment attorney with Nemeth Burwell out of Detroit.