Emtrain Blog

Patti Perez

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10 Ways to Resolve Workplace Conflict: Part 2

Posted by Patti Perez

February 23, 2017

This article was drafted by the attorneys of Ogletree Deakins, a labor and employment law firm representing management, and is reprinted with permission. This information should not be relied upon as legal advice.


This article is the second part in a two-part series addressing managerial best practices for conflict prevention and resolution. Part one offered the first half of a 10-point checklist that also identified potential “triggering” events or issues and turning points at which companies may be able to take proactive steps to avoid strife, improve workplace culture, boost employee productivity and loyalty and, one hopes, make their businesses employers of choice.

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Topics: HR Compliance, Employment Law, Workplace conflict

10 Ways to Resolve Workplace Conflict: Part 1

Posted by Patti Perez

February 23, 2017

This article was drafted by the attorneys of Ogletree Deakins, a labor and employment law firm representing management, and is reprinted with permission. This information should not be relied upon as legal advice.


Conflict at work is inevitable. Despite this reality, there are many steps that employers can take to avoid and resolve workplace strife. According to a 2014 study, office workers spend, on average, 2.5 hours per week trying to resolve conflict—an expenditure of time that translates into an estimated $359 billion in lost revenue in the United States alone.

My experience as an independent workplace investigator has given me a bird’s eye view of workplace conflict as it unfolds. In my review of allegations made by complainants and the evidence I have uncovered while conducting workplace investigations, I’ve come to see a few patterns. One pattern is that there almost always seems to be a point in time—a decision made (or not made), an action taken (or not taken), or something said (or not said or stated poorly)—when the conflict I’m investigating could have been avoided.

The following two-part series offers a 10-point checklist addressing managerial best practices for conflict prevention and resolution while identifying potential “triggering” events or issues and turning points at which companies may be able to take proactive steps to avoid strife, improve workplace culture, boost employee productivity and loyalty and, one hopes, make their businesses employers of choice.

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Topics: HR Compliance, Employment Law, Workplace conflict

Mistakes that Ruin Workplace Culture: Part 3

Posted by Patti Perez

November 7, 2016

This article was drafted by the attorneys of Ogletree Deakins, a labor and employment law firm representing management, and is reprinted with permission. This information should not be relied upon as legal advice.


In part one and part two of this three-part series, we discussed two of the most common traps employers fall into when it comes to avoiding and resolving workplace conflict: failing to anticipate and plan for high-risk situations and creating situations that may give rise to the perception of unfairness in the workplace.

The final segment will explain how focusing on legal compliance may—oddly enough—turn workplace conflicts into crises and how to lay out a plan for addressing workplace conflicts quickly and effectively.

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Topics: HR Compliance, Employment Law, Harassment Investigations

Mistakes that Ruin Workplace Culture: Part 2

Posted by Patti Perez

November 3, 2016

This article was drafted by the attorneys of Ogletree Deakins, a labor and employment law firm representing management, and is reprinted with permission. This information should not be relied upon as legal advice.


In part one of this three-part series, we discussed a trap companies often fall into when it comes to avoiding and resolving conflict: failing to anticipate and plan for high-risk situations.

Part two covers situations that may give rise to the perception of unfairness in the workplace, which is another common trigger for conflicts and crises.

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Topics: HR Compliance, Employment Law, Harassment Investigations

Mistakes that Ruin Workplace Culture: Part I

Posted by Patti Perez

October 31, 2016

This article was drafted by the attorneys of Ogletree Deakins, a labor and employment law firm representing management, and is reprinted with permission. This information should not be relied upon as legal advice.


I dedicate a fair portion of my professional life to resolving workplace conflict. While I enjoy helping companies once a crisis has occurred, my preference is to help companies avoid crises in the first place.

Whether your role is in risk assessment and/or management, legal services, human resources, or employee relations, it is important to hone your skills in both proactive crisis-avoidance and creative problem-solving.

In this blog series, I will highlight some of the most common traps I’ve seen companies fall into when it comes to avoiding and resolving conflict. The first is failing to anticipate and plan for high-risk situations.

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Topics: HR Compliance, Employment Law, Harassment Investigations

Top 10 Workplace Investigation Mistakes: Part 2

Posted by Patti Perez

October 20, 2016

This article was drafted by the attorneys of Ogletree Deakins, a labor and employment law firm representing management, and is reprinted with permission. This information should not be relied upon as legal advice.


In part one of this two-part series, we covered five of the most common mistakes that employers make while conducting workplace investigations, including poor complaint mechanisms, ignoring employee complaints, failing to adequately plan an investigation, and failing to be objective while investigating employees. In part two, we will review five additional common—and costly—mistakes.

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Topics: HR Compliance, workplace harassment, Harassment Investigations

Top 10 Workplace Investigation Mistakes: Part 1

Posted by Patti Perez

October 18, 2016

This article was drafted by the attorneys of Ogletree Deakins, a labor and employment law firm representing management, and is reprinted with permission. This information should not be relied upon as legal advice.


Resolving conflict in the workplace is a key issue for employers. Legal requirements have continued to expand in terms of what courts expect employers to do in order to prevent and correct wrongful behavior.

In response, employers have increased mechanisms through which employees can lodge complaints related to their work environments.

Employees have embraced their ability to provide information to their employers about problems they are experiencing, which has exponentially increased the importance of conflict resolution.

HR and other professionals are now expected to be experts at conducting workplace investigations and resolving conflict in the workplace. In 20 years of resolving workplace conflicts, I have seen employers do many things well and have also seen employers make key mistakes.

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Topics: HR Compliance, Employment Law, Harassment Investigations