Each month, our APSA Advocates answer your questions about workplace challenges, the AD 10 policies and how they’re applied.

Questions? Submit them anonymously here.

Hello, I'm Rob McTavish, an advocate on APSA's Advocacy Committee. On behalf of the Committee, I'm answering your questions related to bringing your own lawyer to a workplace investigation.

I received notice that HR would like to meet with me for a workplace investigation. I'm thinking of bringing my lawyer into this meeting. Is that okay?

As an APSA member, APSA is your sole representative per its Basic Agreement with the University. If you have any problems with your terms and conditions of employment, including a workplace investigation, APSA will represent you. APSA also has legal counsel available to help you if necessary. 

Several problems may occur if you bring your own legal representation to such a meeting. For example, if you were to bring your lawyer and your lawyer entered into an agreement with the University without APSA's authorization, the result could be adverse to the best interests of other APSA members. 

We at APSA also have to respect our duty of fair representation. This means that APSA must act in good faith when representing you in an investigation, grievance or other workplace meetings. We, with your cooperation, will explore the concern and speak to legal counsel to determine the best course of action for you. The recommended course of action may or may lead to formal resolution (for more information see Problem Resolution AD 10.17). 

I'm unsure, as my friend had APSA help and consulted their own lawyer, how does that work?

You can certainly consult with your own counsel and get a second opinion to ensure that any resolution is in your best interest. Your counsel may contact APSA or our legal counsel for further information on your situation.

Your lawyer, however, may not represent you before the University and can't enter into an agreement with the University without the express consent of APSA.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact APSA. Your call or email is confidential.