Representative Investigations - Ellis Makus LLP
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Representative Investigations

The attorney investigators at Ellis Makus have conducted hundreds of investigations for employers in a variety of industries and professions. Ellis Makus has some of the most experienced attorney investigators in California. Our experience drives every decision we make at every stage of an investigation.

Private Sector Investigations

Our attorney investigators have conducted investigations in all types of private industries, including health care, high tech, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, retail and more. Our attorneys have experience in private industry, including serving as in-house counsel to private employers, human resources and employee relations roles, and representing private employers in employment litigation. We understand that every company culture is different. We conduct each investigation consistent with accepted legal standards — including impartiality, thoroughness and promptness — regardless of the industry or employer. We also know that every investigation is different. Our investigations answer the right questions so leaders can confidently make informed employment decisions. Following is a representative list of private sector investigations conducted by the Firm’s attorneys:

  • Energy Technology Company, Northern California: Investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by a department director, including making inappropriate sexual comments and unwelcome sexual touching.
  • Private Technology Company, Northern California: Investigation into allegations of national origin and race discrimination brought by international manager against company leadership.
  • High Tech Company, Northern California: Investigation into allegations of age and gender discrimination and harassment raised by management staff against human resources and executive leadership.
  • Insurance Company, Northern California: Investigation into allegations of fraud, conflicts of interest, a pattern of non-compliance, sexual harassment and favoritism against company leadership.
  • High Tech Company, Northern California: Investigation into allegations of harassment and fraud raised by management staff against executive leadership.
  • High Tech Company, Northern California: Investigation into gender discrimination in pay and promotional opportunities raised by an attorney against managers in the legal department.
  • Trucking Company, Northern California: Investigation into sexual harassment raised by logistics employee against coworkers.
  • High Tech Company, Northern California: Investigation into sexual harassment raised by director against international staff.
  • Law Firm, Northern California: Investigation into sexual harassment raised by attorney against law firm partner.
  • Medical Practice, Northern California: Investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct raised by medical assistant and patient against physician.
  • Pharmacy, Northern California: Investigation into national origin discrimination raised by pharmacist against medical director.
  • High Tech Company, Northern California: Investigation into retaliation allegations raised by IT employee against legal and human resources personnel. Complainant alleged retaliation for complaining about lack of diversity initiatives.

Public Sector Investigations

Workplace investigations for public employers require specific knowledge and expertise. We recognize that public employers are held to different standards and some employees, particularly police and fire employees, are entitled to special statutory protections. Our attorney investigators understand public employment rules and take these factors into account when conducting public employment investigations. Our attorney investigators are trained to conduct investigations pursuant to the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights (POBR) and the Firefighters Bill of Rights (FOBR). Following is a selected list of representative public employment investigations:

  • Public Agency, Northern California: Investigation into allegations of discrimination based on religion and religious attire against law enforcement agency. Investigation was conducted pursuant to POBR.
  • Municipality, Northern California: Investigation into allegations that the human resources director conducted a biased and flawed internal investigation into complaints that an employee engaged in threatening behavior toward others. The employee alleged this constituted harassment and retaliation because of the employee’s participation in a colleague’s federal lawsuit against the city.
  • City, Southern California: Investigation into allegations that an appointed commissioner abused her position to benefit her personal business interests within the city and retaliated against city staff.
  • City Fire Department, Southern California: Investigation into allegations of harassment, retaliation and misuse of public funds against the fire chief. The investigation was conducted pursuant to FOBR.
  • County Sheriff’s Department, Northern California: Gender discrimination investigation into allegations that a facially neutral policy inappropriately limited the number of female officers that could work particular shifts. The investigation was conducted pursuant to POBR.
  • County Probation Department, Central California: Investigation into gender identity harassment involving a sworn officer. The investigation was conducted pursuant to POBR.
  • County Department, Central California: Investigation into sexual harassment and retaliation by a female manager against a male subordinate.
  • County Probation Department, Northern California: Investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and national origin harassment by a probation officer. The investigation was conducted pursuant to the POBR.
  • State Agency, San Francisco Bay Area: Conducted investigation into concerns of harassment by executives and personnel in the legal department.
  • City Fire Agency, Northern California: Investigated allegations of preferential hiring and discrimination against deputy commander. The investigation was conducted pursuant to FOBR.
  • California State Senate, Northern California: Conducted investigation into allegations that senator failed to prevent harassment of staff.
  • City, Southern California: Conducted investigation into allegations by an anonymous citizen that a department director abused his authority and engaged in retaliation towards city employees.
  • County, Northern California: Conducted investigation into allegations that county employee engaged in fraud and false accusations. Issued Lybarger warning in response to employee’s desire to avoid self-incrimination for criminal liability.

Education Investigations

The attorney investigators at Ellis Makus are experienced at conducting investigations at all levels of educational institutions, private and public. We are experienced Title IX investigators and possess the special training and expertise necessary to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct on college campuses. We recognize that Title IX is implicated not only on college campuses, but also in secondary education facilities. We have conducted numerous investigations involving Title IX at the secondary education level. Few firms have the same level of expertise, training and knowledge to investigate complaints involving minors and certificated employees in secondary education. Following is a representative list of education investigations conducted by the Firm’s attorneys:

  • City School District, Southern California: Investigation into allegations that an employee misused district funds.
  • Public University, Northern California: Investigation into allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment under Title IX by female employees against male managers.
  • Public High School, Northern California: Title IX investigation into allegations of sexual assault on and off campus.
  • Public School District, Northern California: Investigation into allegations that school counselor engaged in inappropriate conduct with female students.
  • City School District, Northern California: Investigation regarding allegations of harassment and retaliation by district administration against subordinate employees.
  • Charter School, Northern California: Investigation into allegations that an information technology employee engaged in inappropriate conduct, misused district resources and made sexual comments.
  • County Office of Education, Northern California: Conducted investigation into allegations of hostile work environment brought by a female employee against male co-workers.
  • City School District, Northern California: Conducted investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct by staff toward high school students.
  • County Office of Education, Northern California: Investigation into allegations that an employee of a county probation program had an improper personal relationship with a client.
  • High School District, Northern California: Investigation into allegations that a teacher engaged in misconduct toward students.
  • Private University, Northern California: Investigation into concerns of hazing practices by Greek organizations.