The Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer focuses on performing timely, fair and thorough investigations of allegations of harassment, discrimination and other misconduct in the workplace. We are usually retained by inside counsel, senior HR or the CEO of the company to come in on a one-time basis to perform the investigation, which includes interviewing witnesses, reviewing documents and making findings as to what has occurred. Outside investigators are especially important when there are serious allegations or when the allegations are against a high-level manager.
The types of workplace complaints that we have investigated include:
- Discrimination (based on gender, race, religion, national origin, disability, age, and other categories) in hiring, assignments, promotions, and terminations;
- Sexual harassment;
- Other forms of workplace harassment;
- Retaliation for bringing a complaint;
- Whistleblowing and retaliation for whistleblowing;
- Workplace misconduct and violation of rules, expectations, and ethics;
- Wrongful discipline, including terminations.
We have done investigations for companies and organizations in many industries, large and small, including cities, counties, and school districts; manufacturing, financial, and tech companies; non-profits, unions, and public agencies.
Investigations are conducted and supervised by experienced employment law attorneys who have decades of experience in this field.
We are committed to providing fair and thorough investigations in as expeditious and cost effective a manner as possible. We have been doing this for over twenty-five years and we are, as one grateful client said, “simply the best” at what we do.
The Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer holds in strict confidence, including pursuant to the attorney-client privilege, all personal and private information obtained in the course of providing client services. Such information may be provided to our clients as part of a confidential investigative report, or produced as required by law.
Personal Information Disclosure – United States or Overseas: the Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer does not supply any personal information to any person or entity outside the United States or its Territories for any purpose other than, potentially, to deliver a confidential investigative report to a client, or as otherwise required by law.
Training, Coaching and Mediation
Our training work includes one-on-one training and coaching for individuals who need a better understanding of their duties under the law, how their past actions could be problematic, and what they need to do differently in the future in order to succeed.
Our office provides training and coaching, both for groups and one-on-one, including AB 1825 training for supervisors and managers; diversity and anti-bias training; and training for internal investigators on how to perform an investigation. Amy Oppenheimer is an experienced trainer and coach and also provides training on conflict management. Training could be two hours or two weeks and is tailored to the needs of the client.
Our office provides mediation of employment disputes, both pre and post litigation. Mediation assists parties in addressing their differences and determining how they can work comfortably and effectively with one another following a dispute, so that the conflict does not continue to negatively affect the individuals involved or escalate to further impact the organization.
Amy Oppenheimer has mediated employment disputes for more than 20 years. Adele Grunberg focuses her practice on dispute resolution prior to litigation and has mediated employment disputes for the last 15 years. Kenneth Hawkins has been mediating disputes, training mediators, and working with organizations and individuals in the area of organizational development and conflict resolution for over 25 years. Amy, Adele and Kenneth are available to work with individuals and work groups to assist with the respectful resolution of their complaints.
Amy Oppenheimer has testified as a liability expert witness more than 60 times in the area of human resource practices in preventing and responding to workplace harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblowing. She has testified for both the plaintiff and the defense in the State and the Federal courts in multiple jurisdictions. A number of appellate court decisions have affirmed the relevancy of her testimony and attest to the importance of a qualified expert witness in this field.
The use of an HR expert is particularly important in cases where a central issue of the case is whether the employer has taken reasonable steps to prevent and respond to workplace harassment and discrimination. At times the investigation of a complaint is central to the litigation and Amy Oppenheimer can testify as to whether or not that investigation has met the standard of care.
Links to cases that Amy Oppenheimer has been involved in are here:
- City of Petaluma v. Superior Court, 248 Cal. App. 4th 1023 - Cal: Court of Appeal, 1st Appellate Dist., 3rd Div. 2016
- Pauline VELEZ, Plaintiff, v. James G. ROCHE, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Air Force, Defendant
- Gina Cave, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES
- Cathy Jean Coates and MADELINE DURAN, Plaintiffs-Appellees and Cross-Appellants, v. WAL-MART STORES, INC., d/b/a SAM’S CLUB
What are People Saying?
On Investigator Training:
"The best class I have ever attended!”
"Amy did a great job with this seminar and demonstrated mastery of the material. The seminar exceeded my expectations in terms of content and learning opportunities. I took away much information that can be used in the workplace.”
“Amy was a dynamic, entertaining and knowledgeable presenter.”
“Very informative and eye opening. It was a fun and educational two days.”
“Although I have done many investigations in my career, I learned many new things from this program. Amy is an entertaining and knowledgeable presenter.”
On Amy as an expert witness:
Barry Kinman, of Kinman & Curry, states:
“I highly recommend Ms. Oppenheimer as an expert witness. My law firm, Kinman & Curry, successfully incorporated her testimony at trial in the matter of Kenyon v. Applied Technologies Associates in San Luis Obispo County. Mr. Kenyon was a 28 year employee who was suspended and later terminated after receiving his first written employee warning notice during a 10 minute meeting at a Starbucks coffee shop. The lawsuit rested entirely on the theory of a breach of an implied employment contract, a la Foley. Ms. Oppenheimer testified as to the inadequacy of the investigation by the employer and its in-house corporate counsel.
Most important, in my opinion, Ms. Oppenheimer is perfectly capable of providing written and oral testimony under oath without instruction or coaching. She is an expert in the truest sense of the term. My suggestion is to simply give her the facts and let her do her job, what more can you ask for? The jury in our case awarded our client just over half a million dollars.”