Faced with a compliance issue, complaint, or crisis, clients often turn to Pierce Atwood to conduct independent investigations. Our employment attorneys and litigators have the breadth and depth of experience to assist businesses and educational institutions with complex, highly sensitive investigations that may require strict confidentiality.
Areas of Expertise
Title IX, a comprehensive federal law passed in 1972, requires gender equity for male and female students in every educational program that receives federal funding. Title IX applies to access to higher education, sexual assault and harassment, athletics, and many other aspects of education.
Whether they need to bring their practices into compliance with the latest guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), or they are facing Title IX complaints, schools need skilled attorneys who have a deep understanding of the law as well as experience performing independent investigations.
Pierce Atwood’s education group attorneys conduct independent investigations in sexual assault and harassment cases, other matters involving student conduct, employment disputes, and other situations requiring the impartial determination of facts. We also guide clients through the development of Title IX policies and procedures, and provide Title IX compliance training to school administrators.
Our clients include some of the most well-known independent schools and higher ed institutions in the region. With our depth of experience and connections in the education industry, Pierce Atwood is uniquely positioned to meet the compliance needs of educational institutions and to perform the type of thorough independent investigation necessary for any Title IX or other complaint.
Employers often face situations that require them to conduct investigations in order to protect employees, assure legal compliance, or respond to complaints. Often with little time, and always with a need for accuracy, employers need to assess and then act.
Particularly in situations involving an actual or perceived internal conflict of interest, where the perception of objectivity will be critical, or where fast and skilled action is needed, employers often engage Pierce Atwood’s investigations team. Acting as an independent investigator – not an advocate – Pierce Atwood’s attorneys create an investigation plan, interview witnesses, review evidence, reach conclusions where appropriate, and provide a report to the employer, in the employer’s chosen format, enabling the client to take informed and appropriate action.
We have substantial experience investigating sexual harassment claims, discrimination claims, wrongful discharge claims, supervisor or coworker bullying and other employee relations concerns, and many other workplace issues. Our team can be especially valuable when a third party is needed, as many states have laws that permit such investigations to be done only by attorneys or licensed private investigators.