Workplace Investigations

CEA can Assist you With Workplace Investigations

As soon as an employer has been made aware, California law requires a prompt investigation into all potential workplace policy violations.

How do you know when to investigate a complaint? 

Who Can Legally Conduct Fact-finding Investigations in California?

As an employer you have three choices in how to investigate workplace issues:

  1. Internal Investigation. Your internal staff may legally perform fact-finding investigations. However, when an internal employee investigates a grievance, questions of neutrality often arise. Unless, you have a dedicated, trained investigator on staff, it is unlikely that you have the legal knowledge to protect your company.

  2. CEA Assistance. CEA HR professionals can assist your staff in conducting an internal investigation. This approach protects your company from the legal pitfalls (see "protected classes" below) enables someone from your staff to learn how to conduct future investigations, and is cost-effective. Call CEA for more information. CEA ensures all investigations meet EEOC guidelines.

  3. Use of Private Investigators and Attorneys. When you don't want to conduct the interview yourself, and you don't want to include staff in the process, you must use a private investigator or licensed attorney. CEA has licensed attorneys on staff who can conduct an objective and thorough workplace investigation for you as an independent third party (CEA cannot provide legal advice or represent employers in an attorney-client relationship). We can also provide you with partner referrals to employment law attorneys. Remember to mention CEA for the best possible pricing.

Are you an employment attorney in need of a third-party to handle your client's investigation?

You handle the litigation, CEA will handle the investigation. At a flat rate of $300/hour, our experienced, independent experts conduct thorough, impartial workplace investigations. Let CEA help your clients with:

  • Knowledgeable & neutral investigators
  • Facts to make informed employment decisions
  • Prompt, efficient, and thorough investigatory process
  • Expansive knowledge of DFEH rulings
  • Spanish translator on staff

Download our flyer for your clients and give CEA a call at 800.399.5331. 

Protected Classes

Various federal and state Equal Employment Opportunity (DFEH/EEOC) laws govern discrimination and harassment. The various laws create what are known as “protected classes.” If a person is in a “protected class” and is treated differently because of his or her membership in that class, then the treatment violates these laws. “Protected classes” created by these laws include, but are not limited to, gender, race/color, national origin, religion, age, and disability. It also prohibits retaliation.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race/color, gender, national origin, and religion. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. Harassment on the basis of race/color, national origin, or religion is also a prohibited form of discrimination under the act.

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) prohibits employment discrimination and harassment on the basis of the disability.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination in employment. It also prohibits harassment on the basis of age.

In California, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (FEHA) protects the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and from the perpetration of such acts of hate violence.

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) provides protection from harassment or discrimination in employment because of age, ancestry, color, religious creed, denial of family and medical care leave, disability (mental and physical) including HIV and AIDS, marital status, medical condition, national origin, race, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex and sexual orientation.

Allegations/complaints of violations of these protected classes in the work environment benefit from an early, independent and thorough investigation of the charges. Follow-up by the employer with appropriate action (training, discipline, changing policies/procedures, etc.), if warranted, is key to minimizing an employer’s exposure.

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