MoFo Women: Leading the Way, Making a Difference
Employment + Labor practice
Internal Investigations practice
The New Imperative to Investigate Workplace Misconduct (New York Law Journal; 1/29/2018)
Allegations of workplace misconduct dominate the 24/7 news cycle. Now more than ever, companies—across all industries and geographies—need to proactively investigate allegations as they arise. With significant collective experience conducting sensitive investigations and in-depth knowledge of applicable employment laws, our team is uniquely positioned to help. In this unprecedented time, we have assembled the Workplace Misconduct Investigations Task Force to assist companies in navigating these complex challenges. The Task Force is chaired by experienced former federal prosecutors Carrie H. Cohen and Joshua Hill and seasoned employment law partner Janie F. Schulman.
On January 30, 2018, the co-chairs of Morrison & Foerster’s Workplace Misconduct Investigations Task Force and Daniel Nardello, Nardello & Co., hosted a timely and practical webinar addressing:
Given the serious legal issues and reputational concerns raised by allegations of workplace misconduct, companies increasingly need to consider conducting thorough internal investigations that go beyond reviews by human resources personnel that historically have sufficed. The Task Force is equipped to apply the traditional tools of a white collar internal investigation to fully evaluate workplace misconduct allegations and efficiently and sensitively examine the veracity of claims and determine the best path forward.
Our team has extensive experience conducting complex internal investigations for all types of companies in various jurisdictions in and outside the United States. We regularly advise clients on disclosure strategy and obligations stemming from any discovered improper conduct, as well as managing the workplace while an investigation is ongoing. We also recognize that early and assertive crisis management can eliminate or mitigate potential exposure with minimal publicity and impact on a client’s business and reputation.
As a former employment law specialist and federal and state prosecutor, Carrie Cohen is uniquely positioned to co-chair the Task Force. Carrie served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she investigated and tried numerous high-profile white collar criminal cases. Carrie also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Attorney General’s Office, both as Chief of the Public Corruption Unit in the Criminal Division and in the Civil Rights Bureau where she conducted numerous complex investigations, including allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation. Carrie’s expertise in workplace misconduct stems not only from her time as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Bureau but also from her prior work at a leading New York-based law firm that specializes in employment discrimination law.
Carrie co-chairs Morrison & Foerster’s Women’s Strategy Committee and has been a pioneer in advancing women in the legal profession. She is the co-author of the recent report “If Not Now, When? Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in ADR,” which was adopted by the New York State Bar Association and has received significant media attention. She also serves on the New York City Bar’s Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice and spearheads its women in the profession program, which now consists of 48 leading attorneys from a network of 19 chapters in 18 Latin American countries and also includes an emerging mentoring program in South Africa. Read more >
Josh Hill leads the firm’s white collar defense practice in San Francisco. He is a former federal prosecutor, having served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of California. In his work as a prosecutor, he investigated and prosecuted a wide range of offenses, including human trafficking and child exploitation crimes, both of which involved work with traumatized victims. He has also handled sensitive workplace misconduct investigations, most recently helping a confidential firm investigate allegations of an executive’s workplace misconduct involving a subordinate. Read more >
For thirty years, Janie Schulman has devoted her practice to counseling employers and litigating employment claims. A Fellow of the American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and Co-Chair of the firm’s Global Employment and Labor Group, Janie has successfully defended employers in disputes alleging sexual harassment, whistleblower retaliation, wrongful discharge, misappropriation of trade secrets, employee privacy, and employment discrimination.
Clients regularly call upon Janie to personally investigate or oversee investigations of alleged workplace misconduct. Most recently, Janie conducted an investigation for a Silicon Valley company faced with an anonymous claim of sexual harassment allegedly condoned by the CEO of the company. In parallel with an investigation by federal agents and the U.S. Attorney’s office, Janie also counseled a government contractor through an internal investigation of an employee suspected of using company technology for child pornography and drafting threats of sexual violence in the workplace. Read more >
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