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On Demand

Understanding the Unique Challenges of the Holiday Party Investigation: How Sex, Drugs, and People Not on Payroll Complicate Investigations after a Holiday Party and Other Social Events.

Credit Available - See Credits tab below.

Internal Investigators |  External Investigators |  Advanced |  Beginner |  Bias |  Credibility |  Interviewing |  Trauma
Maren Hufton |  Ms Tracey Levy |  Kathryn Eppright
60 minutes
Audio and Video
Original Program Date:
Dec 11, 2023
Never expires.


Session Description:

This webinar will focus on the unique aspects of complaints that arise from employer holiday parties, conferences and other business-related events that involve social interaction and give both internal and external investigators practical information and tools for handling the challenges these types of complaints frequently bring.

Learning Objectives: 

Through attending this session, participants will understand the following topics and be able to apply this knowledge to their investigative practice: 

  • How to balance employee and third-party privacy rights when both business and personal conduct is at issue;
  • When and how to incorporate a trauma-informed approach to interviews;
  • Practical ways to obtain information from or about non-employees; and
  • Common pitfalls workplace investigators should watch out for when dealing with capacity issues arising from alcohol or drugs.


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



Maren Hufton's Profile

Maren Hufton

Director, Civil Rights & Compliance Office

Civil Rights & Compliance Office, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Maren Hufton is AVP, Civil Rights & Compliance, at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.  As Title IX Coordinator and Discrimination Harassment & Retaliation Administrator, Maren leads and supervises civil rights investigations and programs for the campus.  She ensures iterative process-driven systems and effective institutional responses that integrate regulatory requirements into the unique fabric of a public university. 

Maren also maintains a complementary private law practice delivering practical, risk-weighted advice and quality legal solutions to business, other higher education, law firm, and individual clients.  She handles a broad range of investigation, litigation, corporate, and compliance matters.  

Until 2019, Maren was a partner at Stradling in Newport Beach, where she represented private and publicly-traded enterprises and executives facing government inquiries and investigations, litigated complex disputes, and provided strategic corporate counsel and compliance advice.  She defended clients against accusations of fraud, inadequate accounting and disclosure, insider trading, and FCPA and FCA violations by a host of agencies and regulators, including the SEC, FDA, FCC, FINRA, and the civil and criminal divisions of the DOJ, as well as the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, state agencies like the CA Department of Corporations, and state and local law enforcement authorities in California, New York, and Florida.  

Maren's experience gives her valuable and sought-after knowledge of government, agency, and institutional operations, compliance programs, corporate life cycles and business transactions, and all phases of litigation. As a Pepperdine-trained mediator, Maren shows agility with diversity and the unexpected.  She resolves disputes and can conduct administrative hearings.  

Maren earned her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.  Active with the Association of Workplace Investigators and the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Women Lawyers Association of San Luis Obispo and served as President in 2020.  Maren is additionally a member of the Board of Directors for the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center, serving on the Executive Committee as Secretary and General Counsel. 

Ms Tracey Levy's Profile

Ms Tracey Levy

Founding Member

Levy Employment Law, LLC

Tracey I. Levy helps workplaces thrive, leveraging more than 25 years of combined experience in employment law and employee relations to provide managers and HR professionals with practical advice on workplace-related issues, and support businesses with HR policies and agreements.  Tracey regularly conducts workplace investigations as a neutral third-party, often where the complaint involves top executives and other sensitive situations.  Complementing her legal practice, Tracey is also an educator with the Scheinman Institute at Cornell University ILR School in Manhattan and through her affiliate business Impact Workplace Training, LLC, Tracey trains employees and managers on appropriate workplace conduct. 

Tracey’s past experience includes both large law firm practice and working in-house at a financial services firm.  Tracey holds an advanced law degree from Yale Law School’s LLM program and a JD from Albany Law School.  She has been annually recognized by Super Lawyers for the New York Metro Area since 2016, has received a top rating of AV Preeminent from Martindale Hubbell, and was recognized as a Volunteer of the Year in 2020 for her work with Pro Bono Partnership clients.  Most recently, Tracey’s law firm, Levy Employment Law, LLC has been recognized in the inaugural Chambers and Partners listing of New York Regional Spotlight firms for 2024.  Tracey serves on the Human Resources Committee and the Board of Feeding Westchester, is a past board member of the Westchester Human Resource Management Association and is a member of the Business Council of Westchester, the Association of Workplace Investigators, the Society for Human Resource Management, and federal, state and local bar associations.

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.