Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

When To Investigate Workplace Issues

December 2019 Bar Bulletin

By Karen Sutherland and Tara Parker

Workplace investigations are used in a variety of contexts ranging from data breaches and fraud to discrimination, sexual harassment and workplace violence. This article provides an overview of when to conduct workplace investigations and who should conduct them.

Do at-will employers need to conduct investigations?

In a nutshell, yes. Washington is an at-will employment state, which means that the employer or the employee can terminate the relationship at any time, with or without notice and with or without cause. But there are numerous exceptions to at-will employment, including anti-discrimination laws, prohibitions against taking adverse action against employees who exercise legal rights, and...

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