How to prepare for an interview in an internal investigation?
Summoning an employee to an interview during an internal investigation to be heard on the facts
Employee of a French company under investigation
In the context of investigations opened by foreign prosecuting authorities against a French company, an employee responsible for the department where an offence is alleged to have occurred is summoned to be heard on the matter.
Our client's challenge
Collaborate with the employer while protecting your own interests
In the context of an internal investigation, interviews with employees or business partners are very commonly conducted, particularly to gather factual information as to the reality, materiality and importance of the fact(s) reported, accused or alleged.
The elements and information provided during these interviews can be used by the employer in his defense strategy and can therefore be the source of a possible sanction of the employee. This information may also be transmitted to the prosecuting authorities in the context of a possible cooperation.
In order to avoid self-reporting or providing information that could compromise them, employees who are heard in this way must strike a balance between providing the held information to their employer and protecting their own interests.
In the same way, and regardless of what is said, the employee must ensure that the rights granted to him/her during the internal investigation are respected, in particular the right to privacy or the protection of personal data.
Prepare for the hearing while preparing for one' s own defense
Based on our considerable experience in this matter, we assist our clients at hearings conducted by their employer or their employer’s counsel.
To do so, we analyze the facts and the possible legal risks in anticipating the subjects and questions that may be raised and preparing the answers with our clients. We study all elements transmitted by the investigator and ensure a follow-up dialogue with the latter in the interest of our clients. We provide all additional elements of answers which may be necessary.
We also ensure that the rights granted to employees by the internal investigation process are respected.
More importantly, in the event that a prosecuting authority is seized, we also assist our clients in the context of the open investigation and implement their rights of defense, in line with the actions carried out in the context of the internal investigation.