INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATIONS

Investigations that you can rely on.

When faced with an employee complaint or reports of suspected misconduct, you need a highly skilled investigator whom you can trust to provide clear and candid answers backed by unassailable integrity and experience.  

Over the past nearly twenty years, Speer Associates has performed hundreds of independent investigations examining alleged or suspected misconduct at all levels of an organization, with an emphasis on issues affecting senior management.  We regularly work with executive management, in-house counsel, outside law firms, and boards of directors to deliver reliable, objective, and well-supported findings that enable effective decision-making and problem-solving around an organization's most sensitive and consequential issues:

  • Discrimination
  • Retaliation and whistleblowing
  • Ethical breaches, including financial impropriety
  • Abusive management and other code of conduct violations 
  • Sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims
  • Assaults and threatening misconduct
  • Workgroup conflicts and disruption
  • In the university setting, Title IX violations

In conducting our investigative work, we subscribe to the Code of Ethics of the Society of Independent Workplace Investigators.  


 
 

CONSULTING & SPECIALIZED TRAINING

Advice and training that set you up for success.

World-class employee relations or compliance teams -- and the internal policies and systems that guide their work -- remain your greatest assets in preventing and defusing high-stakes problems.  

Speer Associates is deeply committed to helping clients optimize their ability to prevent wrongdoing, to quickly identify emerging problems, and to expertly investigate and resolve questions of misconduct. We serve clients through a suite of services:   

Investigations advice.  We help guide investigations handled internally by your HR, Legal, or Compliance personnel.  We provide hands-on assistance to ensure an accurate, objective, thorough, and fair fact-finding that can withstand legal and managerial scrutiny.

Investigations training.  Drawing on our extensive investigative experience, we conduct dynamic, first-in-class investigations training that addresses every aspect of the investigative process, including:

  • The important legal principles and employer obligations that pertain to internal investigations
  • How to manage for a successful investigation
  • Employing effective interviewing and fact-finding techniques
  • Discovering and preserving critical evidence
  • Successfully handling reluctant, difficult, or evasive witnesses
  • Avoiding common investigation pitfalls
  • Appropriately evaluating evidence and developing accurate, pertinent, and well-supported investigative findings
  • Mastering effective note-taking and report-writing
  • Achieving closure:  assessing remedial steps and working with interested parties as the investigation concludes
  • Lessons learned:  how to leverage an investigation to enhance preventive policies and practices

Policy and program development.  We evaluate your current systems and help you implement policies and practices that regulate workplace behavior, encourage the early reporting of problems, and prepare you to effectively investigate and respond to reported concerns about misconduct.  We help clients to:  

  • Communicate codes of conduct and ethical standards across the organization
  • Effectively implement policies and practices that specifically target discrimination, harassment, and abusive misconduct ("bullying")
  • Encourage a reporting culture and mitigate fears of retaliation
  • Build well-trained and motivated investigations teams
  • Design and implement effective complaint reporting, escalation, and resolution structures
  • Coordinate investigations and incident management among key stakeholders (e.g., Legal, Compliance, HR, Security, Internal Audit)
  • Designate and train threat management teams


 
 

EXPERT TESTIMONY

A practical perspective that elevates a jury’s understanding of litigated issues.

With her extensive hands-on experience, Rebecca Speer brings a fresh, practical perspective to the courtroom, helping juries better evaluate disputed issues in employment-related litigation.  Both plaintiffs and defendants retain Ms. Speer to testify about:

  • The appropriateness and effectiveness of an employer’s response to a complaint or report about suspected or alleged misconduct, including the sufficiency of the employer’s internal investigation
  • The adequacy of an employer's efforts, from a policy and employment practices perspective, to prevent misconduct and to maintain a respectful and safe workplace free from discrimination, retaliation, harassment, bullying/abusive management, and threats/assaults
  • The appropriateness of remedial steps taken following a finding of employee misconduct
  • Workplace threat management and violence prevention