Workplace Investigations: The Need for Outside Expertise
Workplace investigations may be conducted by your internal HR department, in-house counsel or other internal staff. Sometimes, however, you may need to turn to an external investigator; for instance, if the allegations involve your HR department.
Remember, in California, any outside investigator must be a licensed attorney or a licensed private investigator (Business and Professions Code section 7520-7539).
In addition, whether your investigation is conducted by an internal or external investigator, you may also need outside experts to assist with fact gathering or provide organizational support. For example, the nature of the investigation may require forensic examiners specializing in computers, documents or accounting to search for evidence to either prove or disprove the allegations made against a member of your staff.
The initial planning stages of the investigation should consider the question of whether external resources are needed, and the continued need should be reviewed as the investigation proceeds and the scope is refined.