The Legal Department

The Legal Department Fundamentals: Handling #metoo Matters With Allison West Employment Practices 

The Legal Department | #metoo

Employment law matters, especially #metoo complaints and investigations are meat and potatoes for an in-house attorney. In this episode, veteran employment lawyer Allison West shares the fundamentals of workplace investigations. She provides best practices for engaging investigators including how to avoid legal traps, ensuring independence and maintaining credibility throughout the process. Allison is an investigator, trainer, and coach who has conducted workplace investigations and harassment prevention training for major corporations, including CBS and their 60 Minutes franchise. She is a national speaker who has appeared on CBS This Morning with Gayle King and Nora O’Donnell. Tune in as she breaks down the legal department fundamentals of #metoo and other employment law concerns. 

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The Legal Department Fundamentals: Handling #metoo Matters With Allison West Employment Practices 

Today in the legal department. I am very excited to welcome Allison West. Allison is an expert and consultant in the area of employment law. She is a national speaker on all the topics of the day and I met her at the height of the #MeToo Movement where I had a few of those issues to deal with. She is a frequent guest on CBS This Morning. She has worked with big companies and small companies. I am looking forward to this conversation about workplace matters. How are you, Allison? 

It’s good to see you. 

It’s great to see you. I feel like workplace issues and HR issues are the meat and potatoes of the general counsel role. Depending on how folks come up through their career, they may or may not have had experience with it. I know you handle soup to nuts with both investigations and training and remediation. I am wondering if you could give a high-level summary of what you feel is your sweet spot in this area. 

I would not necessarily characterize it as soup to nuts because I do not give legal advice but I have my niche areas. I am an investigator. I have been an investigator for over twenty years. I spent four years on the Board of the Association of Workplace Investigators. For your audience, that is an association they should be familiar with, the Association of Workplace Investigators. I get no kickback for this by the way, but that is where there is training and all sorts of things that they may want their internal HR folks to make sure that they are up to par. 

I will share some of the reasons why that is so important from a litigation prevention standpoint, as well as a defense standpoint. I am a coach. I have been a coach for over twenty years. It is my favorite thing to do. I coach executives. My main niche initially was after the investigation. You have this person. That is great, but they did a knucklehead thing and you are like, “We can not. How do we manage this?” I come in and I coach them on their bad behavior. Over the years, it morphed into doing some leadership as well.

That is fun. That must be rewarding once you have found a problem to be able to be part of the solution and help people grow in their leadership. 

That is right because so often, companies are faced with this person who brings tremendous value. What do you do if this is your top salesperson? They are your VP of sales and they are great, but they talk about women’s body parts and they make jokes that I do not even want to get into what they could talk about. Examples are popping in my mind of the people I have worked with. You need them. I finished coaching someone that I talked to the CEO. They are like this person. There is nowhere they are going for eighteen months except working by my side. That is it. The value is so high, but they do coaching to try to help, and so that is my job, and knock on what I have a pretty high success rate. 

It is very rewarding, but I do believe in second chances in many instances. I am the mirror. I help them see how other people see them. It is a very powerful practice. I also do conflict resolution a little differently. I do not call it mediation. I come in and you have two people and different teams that are not getting along. I work with them by coaching each of them and then bringing them together. That’s what I am doing now. 

There is a lot to grab there and I definitely want to get into some of the more coaching details as we progress in the conversation. Especially in the GC position and certainly, others in the in-house department, it is not uncommon that there will be a workplace issue that maybe HR can not handle and so the GC’s office is asked to engage an investigator. I learned from working with you that they are not all created equal. There are some things that folks need to keep in mind when engaging an investigator. I hope you can share at a high level what is important for folks making that engagement.

The Legal Department | #metoo
#metoo: In California, we have a statute that says the only people who can do a third-party investigation is a licensed private investigator.

This is one of the reasons I am so happy that you asked me to join you because we are talking about some low-hanging fruit that has potential like in litigation and things. A couple of key things to keep in mind is one, the multi-jurisdictional issues that can happen. Many people do not realize that there are these private investigator statutes in virtually every state. California, where I am right just outside San Francisco, is a little crazier. We have a statute that says that the only person who can do a third-party investigation is someone who is a licensed private investigator. Some folks might be thinking, “They are not always the right person.” 

Can I pause you for a second? When you pointed that out to me, I had a lot of questions because certainly, companies have HR departments that do investigations or compliance departments. 

This does not apply to them if you want to bring in an outside third party. 

If you want to engage an outside third party, many states have statutes that require that third party to be a licensed investigator.

 A licensed private investigator. We are aware of it in California and we have an active governmental entity that will go after people if they are not. One of the exceptions though is in their role as an attorney. That is how it is worded in California. Many states are very similar. That means I have to create an attorney-client relationship with the organization. Many law firms and a lot of the folks that might be tuning in to this are like, “I want my outside law firm to engage and, retain the investigator under attorney-client privilege, and then I don’t have to deal with the buildings. Just put it on your bill.” 

From a privilege standpoint, I heard from an earlier guest that the best way to protect the privileges is to have a firm do the engagement even if you have an in-house legal department.

Absolutely wrong. I have to create an attorney-client relationship which of course, I am a lawyer so I have the privilege. It is up to the client. They want the privilege. I have done many investigations where the client says we do not want it to be a privileged investigation. I think that is a little more of a trend at times. You do not want to go through your law firm. Someone that I know well who is a very skilled investigator here in California went through a horrific situation with that governmental entity because they are like, “How did you do your engagement?” She was like, “I will never again go through the law firm.” 

Let us be a little more specific about why that is a problem. 

The statute says an attorney in their role as an attorney, and our ethics professionals have guided us, and I have my own ethics attorney. The way the statute is written is that I need to create that relationship

If the investigator is a lawyer and does not have a direct relationship with the client that is going to have the investigation conducted, then there is no exception to that private investigator statute. Am I understanding that correctly? 

Right. We are complying with that exception which is an attorney in the role of an attorney. We have been advised that means you have to create the attorney-client relationship directly with that entity. I am educating law firms, but I do want to get to the point. Let us say one of the folks tuning in to the show is like, “I know Beverly. I know John. They are outstanding HR professionals, VP level. They went out on their own. They are doing investigations in California.” Do not hire them. I do not care how great they are. It is a low-hanging fruit. The plaintiff’s bar is learning about this. 

What can happen then if you do it wrong? 

The investigation can be kicked out. 

It was not effective. 

Was not a compliant investigation. 

The takeaway point is that be thoughtful when you are engaging an outside investigator. Make sure you are aware of what jurisdictional issues there may be if you are multi-state and what the qualifications are of that investigator. 

When you're engaging an investigate an outside investigator, make sure you're aware of what jurisdictional issues they may be. Click To Tweet

That is right. Here is the thing, make sure that the investigator knows this too. If you are educating your investigator about this, maybe it is not the right investigator. 

Maybe it is not the right fit. Maybe we should go through the Association of Workplace Investigators to find somebody. You have alluded to that privilege or non-privileged as a trend. One thing I have struggled with is the facts that are found in that investigation are not necessarily privileged. Even if you are engaged directly and do not have to worry about violating that private investigator statute, we still may not have protection over the things that you find. Can you talk a little bit about the pros and cons of privileged versus non-privileged? 

I probably overstated this. I am not a huge trend but I have done several investigations. The privilege is important in many ways because it’s free to discuss, and the company gets to make whatever decisions they do. In doing a non-privileged investigation, there is more transparency to it. If it is a potential matter that is very high risk, your instincts would be protected but it shows full transparency to the other side. 

Meaning, there is a potential plaintiff there. There has been a lot of stuff in California where the plaintiff’s bar has pushed back saying, “You are all full of it, you independent attorney investigators because everything you do is under the privilege. You are still advocating for your clients, even though you say you are neutral.” It is very interesting and I’m happy to send anyone articles that are going around about this because it is fascinating. 

From my purposes, it does not matter to me what the client wants but I always say, “Do you want a privileged or unprivileged investigation?” There are matters to consider, like transparency piece. From a lot of issues going on internally, you might do it. You could always change it. Start as privileged and then release things that you want to. 

The Legal Department | #metoo
#metoo: Start as privileged and then release things that you want to.

 

Let me ask in terms of conducting an investigation, we are setting it up that we do have an attorney-client relationship, and you sent me some articles on this, but I wanted to ask about how you maintain Independence and also have those ethical duties in that attorney-client relationship. How did those two things coexist? 

One is being certain of your role. I am very clear when I meet with my clients about what my role is. Let us say I am hired for a race harassment issue. I am talking to a few people and then Jillian says to me during an interview of a percipient witness, “It also pisses me off all the age-related comments.” I am like, “The scope is on race, not on age,” but I am going to ask some questions, “Could you tell me a little more? Who did that happen to?” I am going to get enough so I can go back to the client and say, “This is what I found. What do you want me to do?” 

If I was a true advocate, I would go off. I would investigate if that is right. You have to know what the scope is and stay within that scope. As a form of I guess advocacy that way, it is like, “I am letting you know this is what I heard and I think this is an issue.” I remember having a situation where the complainant was getting pretty cagey with me like, “I know something but I should not say it. I do not want to.” I finally said, “Does it have to do with something like embezzlement?” I picked the most extreme thing, like so extreme. 

He was like, “No. I found a hole in our online system that I could look at everyone’s personnel file and I was like.” I was like, “That is interesting.” I was very calm but inside, I was like, “Oh my God. He knew about people’s letters they had received regarding the investigation discipline.” I was very calm. It is knowing that you have to share info that you learn.

I think this is a good example. I am investigating the president of a bank. On the call are the general counsel, outside counsel, and a couple of other people on the board. The general counsel is bad-mouthing the complainant with nasty comments after nasty comments. I am a grown-up. I could separate it. I called the outside counsel and I said, “Here is the deal. Tell her never to do that again. It is inappropriate. I can handle it. I know how to filter but It is not okay.” I know how to push back because I have been doing this for a long time, but it was like, “No.”

Let us talk about that because I do think you have been on both sides. You have acted as a lawyer and now as an investigator. I think it would be helpful for folks in in-house roles to get some tips on how should they conduct themselves when interacting with an investigator. Certainly, I have never done this but I could see how you get frustrated or you turn over every stone and bend over backward for somebody or whatever, and make a couple of off-hand, off-color comments about them, and or not be as professional as you would like. Could you talk a little bit more about what you think GCs need to know about interacting with investigators? 

It is such a good question and I have so many examples popping in my head. 

Please share those.

Part of it is to remember that with the investigator role, we are independent. Because no one believes we are we, have to work even harder. If I am ever deposed and someone’s like, “Stacy is their general counsel. Did she ever say anything negative? What did she tell you about Betty?” “Yes, she did.” Always keep in mind you’re an investigator being deposed about what you say. If you need something to keep you within the guardrails, part of it is we have a professional relationship. 

We always recognize what my scope is and that independence is paramount. It does not mean you can not give me some background. It does not mean you can not give me some flavor about your personal opinion. You want to manage that and keep that to yourself talk, to your VP of HR, or talk to somebody else about that. This is one of the things that I would recommend. I had an investigation that I did last year and I talked early on to the VP of HR and she had had a complaint against her, but I needed to get some background information. This was preliminary and I took lots of notes. It was interesting because her demeanor changed as soon as that event investigation was ongoing. 

I was interviewing her. She was all sweet and roses and all the things. I was like, “Can we have a little credibility issue going on here?” I was very candid with the general counsel. I would recommend making sure your HR leaders respect that role. I am not telling them to withhold information from me but be mindful of how you relate. 

Be mindful how you relate. Click To Tweet

We are not friends in this process. I think there is certainly a goal to build a rapport with people you work with. This is ready easy content for us to talk about. I could see that you might fall into the trap of being more casual than you should. It is a great reminder. 

I love that you worded it that way because I think they are like, “We are on the same side,” and I am like, “I am not on a side.” 

I want an investigator who is not on a side. 

That’s right. I have said to HR and counsel, “I am going to stop you right now because it is a little too much info. Let me see what other people say and then let me come back to you when I do a debrief, and you can fill in other pieces. I will have it in a context and I will have it as part of an interview.” It is that scale of being able to not piss off people but it is like, “You are hiring me to be independent. Let me always focus on that and reframe it.” It is not like I get mad at people but I am like, “I am going to stop you.” 

I think this is important to call out why having Independence is important. I thought the point about credibility for both yourself and the witnesses or folks you are going to be interviewing is you could undermine knowingly the effectiveness or the conclusions even. If Betty is super buttoned up when she is being interviewed but in the background, she is saying “Stacy is a whiner” behind the scenes, you are not going to think Betty is that credible when you are in here. 

They are like, “You are our lawyer.” I am like, “I have a limited scope of engagement.” I guess I should mention that right in the engagement letter itself, my scope is a limited scope engagement retained to look into the following things, like Betty is complaining about X and John is complaining about Y. I then have two paragraphs total that are maybe 4 inches long of all the things I am not doing. I am not going to talk about Fikrah or Ikrah. I am not going to look at this. I am not going to talk about wages per hour. I am not giving you advice about twenty other things. You have your lawyer for that. I am very clear. I am not your lawyer to give you advice in general. I will advise you about the investigation, but I also will not accept an assignment unless the organization has outside counsel. 

Talk about that. 

I will not do it. I have never done it. Part of it is because they will want to rely on me for advice and I am very deferential to their outside counsel, they will look at it through the eyes of a defense attorney as they should, protecting the company. It is important even if you are a small company. You need outside counsel, and I have had a few clients that have not had attorneys and I am like, “I am going to give you three names. Pick whoever you want,” or they are like, “We do not want to use our outside counsel for this. Do you know anyone?” I am like, “Three names. I have no vested interest, no kickback. There is nothing like that.” It is important. 

It keeps your scope clean. 

It keeps the scope clean. I get to say there is an issue that comes up or I highlight. I am like, “What do you think, outside lawyer?” I am going to raise the issue and then I am going to pop off the call because I am going to let you two talk about it. 

That does not cloud your independence. 

That is right. I am aware of it at all times. A number of years ago through our association, I was co-chair of a pre-conference that my friend Karen and I put together on the investigator on the stand, both as a deponent and in the trial. 

That sounds like a great session because I do not think people necessarily forecast that could be a scenario. 

They have to. We had an inside investigator, an external attorney, a plaintiff’s attorney, and a defense counsel. From that day forward, in everything that I do an investigation on, I was thinking, “What would a plaintiff’s attorney say?” Is that the right way? Not necessarily, but my job is to do the right job and make sure I do have this attorney-client relationship like you said, so I am aware of that. I am always aware that they are going to ask me why I did not interview somebody and I need to have a good reason because I get to decide why I did not talk to 30 people in one department, and I talked to 10 people. 

I want to go back to the remediation once you conduct the investigation. I think there was an intense period during the height of #MeToo where everybody was fired. There is no tolerance for any bad actors, and I do not want to form a given opinion about that but I feel like that was the approach during, ‘18, ‘19 early ‘20, etc. I do not know why but people have different views on what to do to remediate folks. You shared that sometimes the company has a key person who has this unique talent. I do not have anybody else to do this. 

What do you do in those situations? Maybe some advice for the in-house counsel. My bias is if you do that, you do not work here. If you touch somebody, you do not work here. I am more safety-oriented I guess. Can you talk about the non-termination route? 

One of the questions that I ask and I am starting my answer with this because I think it is important. I will ask if the person is worth saving. Are they worth saving? You have a long-time employee who did a knucklehead thing. Do they have a good track record? Is this the person who has been the constant bully throughout and has done stuff and now it is escalating? Some of it is going to be fact-dependent. Who is this person? Are they remorseful or is it, “I am sorry your feelings were hurt, Stacy?” That obviously is the apology that has caused divorces. I ask those questions. There is no blanket answer but, is it worth showing that you tried to help someone?

Can I pause you for a second? Once something gets to an investigation, to me, the conduct has been going on for years, or it is outrageous. Somebody made a statement in a very public scenario. If it is a long-time employee, a loved employee, or whatever, but it is an open secret that this person makes sexist, racist, or whatever comments, how can the company continue a trusting relationship with the employees who participated with the rest of the workforce and at the same time, keep that perpetrator in place? 

Perpetrator is criminal so I am not going to go down that path. 

Bad actor.

That bad actor. Here is the thing, let me state what the law is. The law is very simple. It’s the same in every state. It does not matter. This is the premise of the law. Stop the bad behavior. Make sure it does not happen again. You can do that by terminating someone. You can also do coaching to try to ensure that it does not happen again. When people are like, “No one is going to want to work with that person,” but if you believe the person has some level of remorse that seems genuine and you want to do coaching, you do that. 

Stop the bad behavior. Make sure it doesn't happen again. You can do that by terminating someone or coaching to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Click To Tweet

Part of what happens sometimes is I will talk not as an investigator. I am talking as the coach. I will talk to some of those employees. What are some of the issues? What is going on? They said this and that. We did the investigation. Especially if it is a bullying situation, not harassment or something, we will give them a voice if there has not been an investigation, and being able to say, “These are behaviors you will hopefully see change.” The employees know that the person is going through coaching and we are holding them accountable. That helps the person stay on that straight and narrow, and then I am coaching them along the way to what they did wrong. As I said, I am the mirror and I help them see how other people see. A lot of times, what do they say? “I was only joking, I was only fooling around. They know who I am.”

I do not want to get free training here, but you also do harassment prevention training and sensitivity training. You showed me your mug earlier and your “Go slow no.” I feel like a human need to build rapport and connect with others. People can be more casual and they are joking or they are being sarcastic, but not realize how the listeners receive that. Do you have some training tips on that?

If I can start with this. One of the things that I have seen fairly consistently is general counsels or the head of legal do not know employment law at all. They are like, “That is harassment.” I am like, “Actually, it is not. I am an employment lawyer. I am letting you know it is not, but it is not good. It is bad behavior.” There are many places you can get. In California, through our California Lawyers Association, it is three hours. What do you need to know about employment law? Take one of those. You do not have to know it like. That is why you are hiring other people, but you should know that there are four elements to a hostile work environment claim. The prima facie case, that will speak our language. 

You should know that. You have to know what that means in your state. Know that in New York if you are there. It is now three, Governor Cuomo took away what we call severe or pervasive. That is the numerosity piece of how often in the severity of it. Know it in your state. You do not have to know the details of it but at the highest level, get a three-hour training. Call me. I will give you a little training. We will get you up to speed in an hour. 

when you think about harassment training, most companies do it online. No one gets a chance to ask questions. It tends to be more clinical. I am a trainer. I have clients that are Tens of thousands and I have clients that have eleven people. It’s the whole gamut. You can at least one time bring in a live trainer at least for your managers to dig in and help them understand the nuances, which is what you are talking about. I tap someone on the shoulder and someone is like, “I did not like that. I want them fired.” You are not going to fire them. We all know you are not going to fire them. We are going to say to the person, “They do not like being touched. Do not do it anymore.” The person is horrified. “Thank you for telling me.”

If the person says, “I will touch whenever I want,” we have a different issue. We have a different problem. It is giving real-life examples, but part of it is you nailed it when you said we need to give people a way to be able to call it out gently. I did training for Morgan Lewis. There are training companies I have done on my own for 24 years, and it is not uncommon to use the color of the traffic light. I have the colors but I use them differently. I remember you telling me after I had done training for a group of doctors. You sent me a text later in the day. You are like, “I am here with one of the doctors,” and he leaned over I think that was in the yellow. I am like, “My job here is done.”

It is helping people know. Even if you do a little brown bag lunch, just say, “Let us talk about how you can gently call it out.” Stacy, you made a comment about immigration and it hit a nerve with me. I could say to you, “I am not sure if you realize some people may have a different view and that could make people uncomfortable.” Give people one-liners that they can say, “I do not think that is in line with our core values having that conversation.” Make it about the company. I do not think anyone ever has to say, “I am uncomfortable with that.” I am very clear in all my training. You never have to do that because they might say, “Stacy, we will not even talk to you if you speak up for someone else.” Give people a way to have a one-liner to say, “You might think that is funny, but I do not think many of us did.” Done. 

For the GC or whoever is leading a team in the legal department, maybe have a brown bag or something and give them a couple of go-to phrases or ways they could voice concerns without being too aggressive about it. 

For those of you who are doing the online training, I know for a fact because I have friends who confess to me. My friends are like, “I did my husband’s harassment training. My husband took my harassment training. I did it for my kids.” People are not doing it. If you want to work on culture, then you have to at least one time do some substantive training. I do not use PowerPoint. It is totally interactive. 

The Legal Department | #metoo
#metoo: If you want to really work on culture, then you have to do some substantive training.

 

It is a huge difference and I have done both. With online, there are scenarios vignettes, but it is less. It is more flat. The in-person gives you the opportunity to dig into those nuances.

That is the key to your workplace. I have many clients in life sciences. They are going to be working on drugs. What if they are on Viagra? There are different things they are going to talk about. I have a client whose science is looking at how disease transfers through different materials. They spend hundreds of dollars a month on condoms. they told me before I went to their site, ‘We have a huge massive box of adult sex toys.” “Really?” “Yes, because we look at material.”

I said, “You only have eleven people in the company, but you can not have your researchers walking around with these items. You have to think about how you do that.” We’re helping them understand but that is the business. They get to still do the business. They still get to buy adult sex toys, but they should be kept in a locked room when they are done with their science and their research. 

This is the first time the words sex toys have been used on the show. Thanks for taking us into new spaces. Any other nuggets? Putting aside the technical legal things we need to know about investigations and training but for lawyers as managers, what are some quick takeaways for that? 

Not surprisingly, I have coached many many partners at law firms, attorneys who have misbehaved, and general counsel. On the things that I see both in investigations that come up and also in the coaching that I do, I want to give three key points that I think are important. As general counsel and legal professionals, you have to learn how to coach your employees. What I have seen is that the lower regular staff, attorneys, whatever their titles are, are not getting coached. It’s just, “Do the law.” They are not being managed. 

It’s not being developed, those interpersonal skills. Professional development is not being done. 

Coach what is going on. Please do not do the standard, “What can I do, Stacy, to help you be successful?” It is a lovely question but it is so ineffective because you are thinking.

“What do I know?”

There are five things and if I say those five things, are they going to think, “I am not confident” or “I need more help.” If I say one, do they think I am cocky? You could say something like, “Is there one thing I could do right now that would help you in your success?” You might be like, “Yes. Could you get this opposing counsel? Give me some tips on how to help with it.” Be more pointed. Number two, manage them. Actually, development and what is going on with interpersonal skills. Those types of things as well. Number three, create an environment that is built on psychological safety. 

Let me give that definition. Psychological safety is a term coined by Dr. Amy Edmonson at Harvard University. I am happy to send your audience some articles on this. It means when you have an environment where essentially it is okay that someone makes a mistake or they come to you with a question and you make it safe. Many of us have been through the law firm scene. You go in and I do not understand something. What do you mean? You are left to feel less than, that you are a moron, and you are an idiot. 

We need to stop that and it is still happening. I know because I was brought into coaching people. I was brought into coach and companies and stuff. I see it and I have two clients right now with legal department issues. It is there. It is making an environment where it is okay. It does not mean you do not hold people accountable. I want to be clear. I am all about accountability. Stacy, if you came to me and said, “I missed the deadline,” it does not mean I am not going to say, “I am quite disappointed. What can I do to help you so this does not happen again?”

I feel like we could have another conversation about creating a safe environment in the legal department. Maybe we will bookmark that one. Allison, this has been great. My last question, and I hope you did not give it too much thought because it is hopefully a fun question, is what is your pump-up song? 

My plump-up song is a song called You Are The Universe by the Brand New Heavies and a couple of lines in it. I love it. It is like you are a driver not a passenger in life. If you are ready. You will not even have to try. You are the universe. There is nothing you cannot do if you believe it, if you conceive it, you can do it. It is very boppy and it pumps me up. I can hit the day and I can do anything. It is a great song. 

I am going to grab that. 

Brand New Heavies.

Where can our audience find out more about you and what you do?

My website is EmploymentPractices.net. You can do a google search probably of me too, Allison West. I do training and coaching. I am happy to have been here, Stacy. Thank you so much for your time. 

Thank you. This was great. Take care. 

 

Important links: 

 

About Allison West

The Legal Department | #metooIn 2000, after practicing law at a San Francisco labor and employment boutique, Allison started Employment Practices Specialists to fulfill her personal mission of helping companies build and maintain safe, respectful and productive workplaces.
 
Allison focuses her practice on conducting workplace investigations, delivering one-on-one sensitivity training for executives, managers and employees concerning sexual harassment, discrimination, and diversity awareness issues, coaching managers and employees with disciplinary and/or behavioral problems, providing expert witness and litigation assistance, and offers clients a 24/7 employee complaint line.
 
Allison is a sought-after trainer and speaker known for her dynamic presentation style. She does not use passive PowerPoint presentations and all trainings are discussion-based which impact the learning and long-term stickiness of the training. She specializes in developing and delivering interactive training programs in the US and internationally that address employment law and human resources issues.
 
Allison was brought into CBS News to deliver harassment training immediately after Charlie Rose was terminated and went on to deliver training at 60 Minutes, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and other CBS programs. She trains at organizations of all sizes and industries, nationally and internationally.
 
Allison is a frequent top-rated speaker at local and national events such as the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Annual Conference & Exposition where she was ranked as one of the top ten highest rated speakers at the 2018 and 2019 conferences. She also speaks at the HR Star Conferences in Los Angeles and San Francisco where she has been the only presenter to receive perfect evaluation scores, and the Northern California Human Resources Association HR West Annual Conference where she is consistently a top-rated presenter.

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