What are a Company's legal obligations Upon Receipt of an Attorney Letter claiming the Company Violated Employment laws?

Of course, requesting that an attorney provide all evidence that supports purported claims should be provided to the employer so that you can fully evaluate them, however, it is not required by law.  Once legal action is commenced and written discovery requests are served by your Company on the employee, there is no legal obligation for the attorney, and/or his client, to produce anything. 

However, the letter does trigger several legal obligations including, identifying and preserving all potentially relevant evidence related to the subject matter (i.e., employee and issues) and informing all persons who may be in possession of such information of the same, which should be done at the direction of experienced employment counsel.

In addition, depending on the claims raised by the attorneys’ letter, you may be legally required to conduct an investigation of the allegations which would allow you to request that the employee participate in the investigation.

Mandated or not, we strongly suggest that an investigation be conducted by counsel immediately so that you can fully evaluate the claims, potential liability, exposure, defenses, potential cross claims so that you can determine how you wish to proceed. Even baseless claims are expensive to defend so it is always best advised to retain counsel to investigate upfront and fully respond to any lawyer letters.

Lisa Sherman
California Labor & Employment Attorney