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For your safety PI's in Texas are strictly regulated by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The same agency that regulates police officers. It is illegal to knowingly hire or act as an unlicensed investigator. We are insured and bonded to perform investigations...


GPS Use in the State of Texas

GPS tracking laws in Texas – It is a Class A misdemeanor to apply a GPS to a vehicle without the owners consent in Texas. That is serious business. We, at Panoramic Investigations will not apply a device without a signed and verified letter from the owner during the application of the device. However, we […]


Trash and Private Investigations

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. As long as the trash is on a public curb, it’s fair play to collect it. I’ve used this technique to gather evidence in numerous cases. From mail and phone bills to liquor and pill bottles, you can find all sorts of evidence of lifestyle in someone’s trash. […]


Understanding the Cheating Spouse

I don’t believe people cheat because they are unhappy with their spouse. I believe people cheat because they are unhappy with themselves. I think it usually starts out with a few drinks to wash away a hard week. Perhaps a person is not earning what they want to earn, perhaps they feel they are becoming […]


Using Your Mirrors During Surveillance – Private Investigator Tricks and Tips.

If your static surveillance may go mobile at any time, you need to be prepared to start that car and drive. Sometimes only seconds can make the difference between loosing your subject leaving the parking lot or keeping that mobile surveillance alive. Additionally, getting your cover blown is easier than ever these days when people […]


Workplace Investigations for Employers

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Many laws require employers to undertake investigations in order to meet their employment obligations. The state’s position is that it is your duty as an employer to know about a discrimination, harassment, and threat or safety issue faced by an employee. In some courts whether you know or not, it is your responsibility to take prompt action to put an end to the problem. Therefore, employers need to investigate the situation and ascertain the facts. Employers who fail to investigate will usually lose claims or lawsuits brought by an employee.

Common laws and situations that require investigations are:

  • Job Discrimination Laws (Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADA, ADEA or the Texas Human Rights Act)
  • Health and Safety Laws – OSHA – employers must investigate problems and prevent future similar problems, such as violence and threats
  • Drug Free Workplace Laws – The drug free workplace act of 1988
  • Background and Credit Checks – Fair Credit Reporting Act – negligent hiring or retention
Workplace Investigations

Employers must be aware of important limitations that apply to the privacy interests of employees. Generally, employees have the right to keep private facts about themselves and their families confidential as well as the right not to be accused wrongly and the right to enjoy a degree of “personal space”. Generally, whatever is in an employee’s personnel file can be accessed only by those who have a “job-related need to know”. In order to reduce the chance of confidential information getting out, most attorneys recommend keeping different types of files. (I.e. personnel file, medical file, I-9 records, safety records, grievances and investigations).

At work, employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy, unless they have been given notice that something in particular might be inspected or monitored. For instance, employees who have never been told that purses or backpacks or lockable desk drawers or personal lockers might be subject to inspection would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Drug tests are, of course, a form of investigation. In Texas there are a wide variety of circumstances for drug testing, but the results must be kept absolutely confidential. Defamation is also a concern and this consists of communicating false information to a third party. Retaliation is prohibited against employees who file claims and any action that appears to be retaliation must be warranted. False Imprisonment can be brought by an employee who feels that they have been restrained or confined during an interview. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress can also be the basis of a lawsuit when an employee feels unusually humiliated or threatened. Assault and Battery can arise if an employee fears that an employee was going to touch them, or was actually touched. Malicious Prosecution can arise when attempting a criminal prosecution if an employer pursues arrest, but there turns out to be no basis for criminal charges. Invasion of Privacy consists of disclosure of private facts about a person and contains either intimate facts about private affairs, or if information of no legitimate concern was released to a third party.

When a problem arises, a company must move quickly to determine who knows what. Waiting too long might mean that the investigation will be compromised.


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