Bradley attorney Todd Presnell was quoted in Bloomberg BNA on protecting privileged information during Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigations. The dual legal and business roles in-house attorneys and top-level human resources personnel serve in many companies can raise tricky—and potentially expensive—issues involving attorney-client privileged information, complicated even more so if the EEOC wants to examine past bias reports. Attorney-client privilege generally protects confidential communications between the client—the company—and its legal team, but the privilege is subject to challenge and waiver.
That's why training in-house counsel and HR officials on the intricacies of the privilege is vital, Presnell explained. It's also important to train managers and other employees who regularly interact with in-house lawyers and human resources regarding legal issues.
“They need to understand the differences between legal and business advice, confidentiality and when the privilege attaches,” said Presnell, who has written extensively about evidentiary privileges. Presnell said that in his experience, companies’ performance in providing such training varies. Some do a complete job of educating their in-house attorneys, HR personnel and other concerned employees on the ins and outs of the privilege, he said. Some do almost nothing and others mostly just train their lawyers.
The complete article, “Lay Groundwork to Protect Legal Advice during Bias Probes,” appeared in Bloomberg BNA on March 3, 2017. (login required)