Workplace Investigations

ELS attorneys are available to advise attorneys and organization leaders regarding the best practices for conducting ethical, effective, and cost-efficient internal investigations. ELS attorneys are also available to conduct investigations on behalf of business and public entities. Our investigative work includes a broad range of services. In addition to compliance and ethics matters we have worked with client companies to address issues such as employee engagement and satisfaction, and toxic work environment. As a result of some investigations, we have been asked to provide a variety of training programs, including compliance and team-building training.

Our attorneys have conducted hundreds of workplace investigations, including allegations of individual discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, as well as claims of systemic age and sex discrimination. Our ability to quickly establish trust and confidence in the integrity of the investigative process has led to the successful resolution of numerous matters for our clients, as well as the avoidance of costly litigation. In some cases, our investigation services may qualify for attorney-client privilege.

Conducting Effective and Ethical Internal Investigations

In an era of heightened government and regulatory scrutiny the importance for companies to perform their own thorough and effective internal investigations into allegations of wrongdoing has never been more apparent. ELS can offer advice to those conducting internal investigations as well as serve as outside investigators when warranted.

Jamala McFadden and Halima White have presented Continuing Legal Education classes at the Georgia State Bar regarding Conducting Ethical Investigations. In-house attorneys, outside law firm counselors, and Human Resource professionals turn to ELS for advice. Based on their experience as corporate counsel as well as working for the EEOC, ELS attorneys are uniquely qualified to help others understand how to prevent and spot the ethical pitfalls in internal investigations.

Conducting Investigations On Behalf Of And Within Public Entities

ELS attorneys have conducted special investigations for many public entities. Public entity investigations require special attention regarding the implications of Public Record Requests. An in-depth understanding of how to manage the information gathered during investigations in light of potential public record requests is important and is more complex than a standard investigation.

ELS attorneys offer guidance regarding:

  • Ethical duties and responsibilities that are implicated with internal investigations
  • How to limit exposure to allegations of potential wrongdoing
  • Strategies for collecting and preserving evidence
  • How to resolve privilege and privacy issues, conflicts of interest, joint representation of companies and employees, and witness cooperation.

Employers should take note: The EEOC Commission is well prepared to subpoena documents and witnesses when employers fail to cooperate with investigations.

Michael Kirkwood and Diana Suber have significant experience with EEOC subpoenas and administrative depositions. They are skillful at negotiating with EEOC investigators in order to provide them with the information they need to complete their investigations. Please contact Michael Kirkwood and Diana Suber for more information regarding EEOC investigations.

Jamala McFadden on when to engage outside counsel to conduct a workplace investigation.


“The investigation was well done and quite comprehensive; the insight was great; and I look forward to working with ELS again.”

Partner, Labor & Employment, AmLaw 100 Firm