Wrongful Termination Montana: Employee and Employer Investigations
Wrongful termination investigations for Montana investigates wrongful termination and wrongful discharge disputes for MT businesses, individuals and attorneys. Investigative services for employers and employees uncovers the evidence you need to document, support, and prove wrongful termination cases by investigating computers, smart phones, cell phones, hard drives, servers and other data storage devices.
Common disputes regarding wrongful terminations often include: inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment, illegal activity, retaliation, theft of intellectual property, personal use of business computers, terminating employees without following employee handbook and government employee regulations.
For Employers: In many wrongful termination disputes you have acted within the law. You've documented the reasons leading up to terminating an employee and followed the employment laws of MT but still fear termination repercussions or get blind-sided by a lawsuit you believe is unjustified. Too many times predatory lawyers take wrongful discharge cases on a contingency basis knowing that many business owners fear wrongful termination suits more than anything else so they often settle rather than fight ~ It's easier that way.
Even EEOC attorney's and negotiators often use the fear of losing your case as a means of negotiating a settlement. Remember, their job is to negotiate a settlement, not determine the truth of the facts and determine whether the employer or employee is right. That's the Judge's job.
We know of one specific case that the plaintiff's attorney actually told the EEOC negotiator and the defendant's attorney: "I'm going to take this case all the way because I know what they settle for", even though it was obvious the plaintiff was lying and misstating facts to the point of making conflicting statements. Even so, the negotiator attempted to get both parties to settle on a financial payment to the employee. The defendant and defendant's attorney stuck to their facts and refused to settle. They were willing to take it to state and federal court if necessary. They had followed proper protocol. Not only did they have paper documentation, warnings and witnesses, but also took the necessary steps to collect and preserve evidence from the cell phone and computer the business provided the employee. Computer Forensics Associates was hired to perform the collection and preservation of a forensic image when the employee was terminated so that if and when necessary, an investigation to find evidence pertinent to the case could be performed. The computer forensic investigation discovered the employee had used the devices for personal use, had been engaged in inappropriate behavior and sent explicit emails and photos to other employees that opened the door to a potential sexual harassment lawsuit for the employer. All this evidence proved beyond doubt that the employer was well within the law and had acted appropriately by terminating the employee. The employer won the suit (The negotiator's proposed settlement was $76,000 to the employee. The company's cost for attorney fees and Computer Forensics Associates' investigation was $9600).
For Employees: There are many instances when an employer has wrongfully terminated you and you do have a case. Examples include but are not limited to: discrimination, sexual harassment, whistle-blower retaliation, and terminations with no legal or valid cause. Especially if there are no documentations, warnings or disciplinary actions in the past.
It is important that you be sure you are not just retaliating in anger about losing your job and that you are not just trying to get compensatory damages for wounded pride. If you have legitimate reason to believe you are the victim of wrongful termination we can help you gather the evidence you need to prove and win your case, especially if you suspect discrimination or some type of harassment. Your attorney or counsel can request an investigation of business computers, smart phones, cell phones and other storage devices to find evidence from inter-office memos, email, electronic documents and communications to support your case.
We are familiar with a case where an individual was terminated due to company downsizing. However, investigation discovered this employee was a manager and had been with the company for more than 12 years. Others with less time on the job were not terminated and a younger employee was promoted to fill the vacant position. This employee believed the termination was due to the fact that he/she knew a superior was engaged in inappropriate activities at the work place. The superior was inviting females to his office during work hours, kept the office door shut, was seen kissing these women in the parking lot and was accused of sending sexually explicit materials and communications from his company laptop during work hours. This employee threatened to go to the owners or file a harassment suit on behalf of all employees. Three weeks later the whistle-blower was terminated on the grounds the company needed to downsize and reduce management. After consulting with an attorney, Computer Forensics Associates was hired to collect forensic images of the superior's laptop and smart phone as well as three other employee computer's which had regular correspondence with the superior so an investigation could discover what may have been said or known about the superior's actions. Once the investigation was complete it revealed that the superior had deleted all emails and correspondence from his computer. He had reformatted his hard drive and reinstalled the operating system and programs. By going to the other three employee's computers we were able to find multiple instances of emails between the superior and these employees about his extra-marital relations, and references to the terminated employee regarding what he should do because this employee threatened to expose him to the owners. It was a slam-dunk case because the terminated employee contacted an attorney who acted quickly to be sure all potential computers and devices used by other employees that might have knowledge or communications from the superior that could help document and prove the case were identified and got a court order to allow us to capture forensic images so we could perform the investigation.
It is important for you to know that Computer Forensics Associates does not perform any investigation on a contingency basis. We are impartial to any case and all fees and charges must be paid as the work is performed. Like an attorney, we charge by the hour for investigating computers, smart phones, cell phones and any other devices whether or not the evidence supports or refutes your case.
The best thing you can do whether terminating an employee or considering a wrongful termination suit is to capture a forensic image of the computers, cell phones, smart phones, laptops and any other devices that may contain evidence to support and document your case. As a terminated employee you need to seek counsel from an attorney to get a court order allowing the capture and collection of evidence from business owned computers. This forensic image preserves the information on the devices so that if necessary, a computer forensic investigation can be performed to uncover the evidence necessary to document and prove your case.