- About AWI
- Programs & Events
- Member Resources
- Join and Renew
|Interviewing the Good, the Bad and the Ugly - New Approaches for New Challenges|
Amy Oppenheimer has over 30 years of experience in employment law—as an attorney, investigator, arbitrator, mediator, trainer, and administrative law judge. She has trained employees and employers throughout the US in how to prevent harassment, how to investigate workplace harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and in diversity in the workplace. She has performed impartial investigations for a large range of employers—public and private, large and small. A trial qualified expert in State and Federal court, Ms. Oppenheimer has testified for both the plaintiff and the defense about employment practices in preventing, responding to and investigating workplace harassment. She has testified at deposition, arbitration or trial more than 60 times. Ms. Oppenheimer is the author of numerous articles about harassment and discrimination, and is co-author of one of the few books about the practice of investigations,Investigating Workplace Harassment, How to be Fair, Thorough and Legal, (Society of Human Resource Management, 2003). She speaks frequently on these issues. Ms. Oppenheimer is the founder and past president of the Association of Workplace Investigators, Inc. (AWI), past president of Berkeley Dispute Resolution Services, and an advisor to the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California.
Gary Edwards leads the Global Human Resource Investigations team at Facebook. He and his team ensure the fair and thorough investigation of complaints and concerns regarding violations of company policy or law. Mr. Edwards joined Facebook in 2012 as its first company investigator and as an executive coach. His professional background spans the fields of manufacturing and procurement operations, business development, sales operations and human resources. Mr. Edwards has had firsthand knowledge of the challenges of managing a diverse workforce, as he has worked extensively in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and has also lived in Japan and North Africa. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Tufts University and a Master's degree from Columbia University.
Vida Thomas has been practicing law since 1993, and is a founding partner of Carlsen Thomas, LLP. She advises employers regarding all aspects of human resources management, conducts harassment prevention training of employees, supervisors and managers, and conducts investigations of alleged employee wrongdoing. Ms. Thomas also consults with employees on a limited basis. Ms. Thomas has conducted dozens of workplace investigations for private and public employers, and is experienced in complying with the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights. She has helped employers respond to complaints filed with the DFEH and EEOC. She advises clients and conducts training regarding the ADA/FEHA, the FMLA/CFRA, employee privacy, conducting internal investigations, and harassment prevention. Ms. Thomas handled employment litigation before state and federal courts and arbitrators for ten years. She has considerable experience defending federal and state discrimination suits, including "pattern or practice" claims, and employment class actions.