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On Demand

Defamation Claims Arising from Workplace Investigations: Understanding the Qualified Privilege

Credit Available - See Credits tab below.

Internal Investigators |  External Investigators |  Interviewing |  Advanced |  Beginner |  Report Writing
Kathryn Eppright |  Natalie Harris |  Mr. Amit Patel
60 minutes
Audio and Video
Original Program Date:
Jul 20, 2023
Never expires.


Session Overview:

This webinar will address how defamation claims can and do arise in the context of workplace investigations and give both internal and external investigators practical information and tools for anticipating and avoiding defamation concerns during investigations.

Learning Objectives: 

Through participating in this webinar, attendees will know and be able to: 

  • Understand what is required to prove defamation and how defamation claims arise in workplace investigations.
  • Recognize the difference between a Complete Privilege and a Qualified Privilege defense.
  • Review mistakes workplace investigators might make that could result in the loss of the Complete Privilege or Qualified Privilege
  • Learn practical steps workplace investigators can take to avoid defamation claims and/or preserve applicable defenses to such claims.


The contents of this webinar and the positions taken are those of the presenter only, may be time sensitive, and are not warranted, endorsed or otherwise recommended by AWI and are not intended to provide legal advice. 



SHRM PDCs: 1.0


California MCLEs: 1.0



Kathryn Eppright's Profile

Kathryn Eppright


Andre, Morris & Buttery

Kathy Eppright, AWI-CH is the Chairman of the firm’s Employment Law Practice Group and a member of the firm’s Civil Litigation, Hospitality and Wine & Agribusiness Practice Groups. Kathy has been practicing 25 years with a focus on employment litigation and counseling. Kathy has handled cases ranging from employment discrimination and sexual harassment to real property and business disputes. In addition to actions brought in state court, Kathy has successfully defended claims of discrimination, harassment, and wage and hour claims filed with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the EEOC, the California Labor Commissioner and the U. S. Department of Labor. Kathy also frequently serves as an outside workplace investigator and is a Certificate Holder from the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) and convener for the AWI Central Coast local circle. 

Natalie Harris's Profile

Natalie Harris

Natalie Harris is a partner at the Chicago boutique media defense law firm Baron Harris Healey. She counsels and defends clients in media including journalists, authors, artists, politicians, entrepreneurs, advertising agencies and brands who generate, publish, and broadcast content. Natalie performs prepublication review of creative, editorial and commercial content and provides trademark and copyright analysis, clearance and registration services. In addition, she provides compliance advice for sweepstakes, contests and other promotions.  In the courtroom, Natalie defends defamation litigation, right of publicity claims, invasion of privacy, trademark and copyright infringement matters. Natalie is a content junkie who loves peak TV, independent film, podcasts, reading fiction books in hard copy and listening to non-fiction audiobooks. She graduated from the University of Michigan with an English degree and received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin. Before becoming a lawyer, Natalie studied Japanese and spent time living and working in Japan.

Mr. Amit Patel's Profile

Mr. Amit Patel

Senior General Counsel

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Amit Patel, AWI-CH is Senior Counsel and the Principal Ethics & Compliance Officer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU APL). Amit leads and oversees the ethics and compliance program ensuring a coordinated approach to ethics and compliance across the Lab. Amit has a wide range of employment and compliance experience providing counseling, investigatory, and strategic planning advice in support of legal, HR, and corporate goals and objectives. Previously, Amit led and oversaw a Laboratory-wide effort to enhance and implement ADA and EEO programs including investigations related to sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Amit is a licensed attorney, mediator, a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP), a Certified Leadership Professional in Ethics & Compliance (LPEC), and Association of Workplace Investigators Certificate Holder (AWI-CH). He was most recently awarded a 2019 Top Corporate Counsel by DCA Live, which recognizes some of the D.C. region’s top in-house attorneys.