The PII Blog

When Fido Knows Too Much: Ensuring Pet Confidentiality

There is a risk we have not been talking about in the field of workplace investigations.

With the recent stay-at-home orders, we have all become “in-house” investigators. And who is there with us, day in and day out: listening to our interviews, looking over our desks at confidential documents, participating in Zoom calls with colleagues?

It is our pets: dogs, cats, reptiles, even chickens. Sure, they may look uninterested in our conversations, but are they really? How do we know? And can they be fully trusted to keep our client’s most sensitive secrets? Who do they talk to? Who do they socialize with? Do they have social media accounts? Honestly, I love my cat, Sophie, but do I trust her with information about allegations of high-level corruption among elected officials in a nearby city? I am not sure.

Retrospective: A look back at PII’s investigation into Thai workers enslaved in an El Monte sweatshop.

In 1995, 72 Thai nationals who were being held captive in a sweatshop concealed in a converted El Monte, California apartment complex were released in an early morning, multi-agency raid by state and federal law enforcement. This shocking example of modern-day slavery raised public awareness of human trafficking in California, led to legislative reforms, and later became part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution called “Sweatshops in America.”

Snapshots From the New Title IX Regulations

On August 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) new Title IX regulations are scheduled to take effect. The new regulations include important changes to what Title IX requires for Complainants and Respondents, giving campuses a lot to consider this summer as they prepare for the next school term.

Being Trauma-Informed in the Time of COVID

Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes, and as investigators we see it all. Whether it is someone reporting a sexual assault in a Title IX investigation, a mitigation witness in a death penalty case, or the survivor of an auto accident, investigators regularly encounter the impact of trauma. Some people we interview have suffered trauma unrelated to our investigation, such as loss of a loved one or childhood abuse….

Lights. Camera. Join Meeting.

Most of us are no longer worried about traffic, parking, and whether the meeting room will be too hot or too cold. After weeks of social distancing, our home and work environments have merged. Video conferencing is now a daily event, but it comes with unexpected minefields. Will the dog go ballistic when the mail…

Video Interviews: We Got This

With California under a stay-at-home order and our physical offices temporarily closed, PII’s team has transitioned to conducting business largely by video conference. We now gather remotely for weekly staff meetings and hold case management meetings over Zoom. While it is new for our staff to interact with each other this way, conducting investigations by…
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