Elaine Blackwood, President of Richwood Consulting Group, LLC, is an accomplished Employment Attorney and Human Resources Manager.  Throughout her years of experience, she saw clients coming to her with matters that had snowballed to litigation make the same comment, “I didn’t know that!”  The legal matters she has litigated were caused more by ignorance of the law or company policies than a desire to violate them.  She has seen financial waste, business disruption, and emotional pain caused by managers who are simply unaware of the employment laws under which they are required to operate.  Many wait until it is too late to avoid legal fireworks.

Our purpose is to train both managers and non-managers to recognize employment law landmines so they can avoid the fallout that comes from stepping on them.  Trainers and investigators from Richwood Consulting Group have years of Employment Law and/or Human Resources experience which is used to increase awareness of the types of situations that can give rise to legal exposure and provide strategies for handling them.

  1. Training

    We provide a variety of training programs that educate employees about the laws they are expected to follow, their own company policy, and optimum workplace conduct.

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  2. Investigations

    Our investigators are seasoned attorneys and/or Human Resource professionals who focus on reducing the likelihood of litigation while addressing the root problems.

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  3. Coaching

    Our one on one coaching is designed to help employees deal with issues related to EEO, diversity and workplace conduct with a deep, honest exploration of employee behaviors.

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  4. Mediation/Arbitration

    We have specialized training in mediation and arbitration and a strong background in workplace investigations to resolve employee issues before they snowball into costly litigation.

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Our Mission

Issues arise in almost every workplace at some time. Many are preventable and result from ineffective communication between managers and the employees they manage.  Richwood’s mission is to promote workplace respect in order to help employers and employees address existing problems and prevent new incidents from occurring. We incorporate employers’ focus on compliance, claim prevention and defense with a focus on creating a work culture grounded in mutual respect.  This approach recognizes that solutions to workplace conflicts are not boilerplate and require more than knowledge of the law. It is also necessary to become familiar with each client’s organizational history and the unique personalities and experiences that each employee brings to a given situation. For this reason, the approach used for every investigation, training, coaching or mediation program takes into account the individuals involved, the background of the organization and the goals of each party.   Solutions are tailored to  each circumstance in a creative, flexible and compassionate manner.

Elaine Blackwell

Elaine Blackwood

Ms. Blackwood founded Richwood Consulting Group to address the need for a proactive, preventive approach to addressing workplace issues.  She saw repeatedly that many managers and employees were unaware of how the workplace has changed over the years or of ways to navigate the shifting landscape.  Ms. Blackwood takes a creative, practical, common sense approach to situations presented to her and has a track record of connecting with a broad cross section of individuals.  While practicing as a litigator, she saw investigations that were handled poorly that failed to provide a basis to uncover workplace problems.  She recognized the need for impartial investigations with an eye to learning the truth about a given situation so that both employers and employees can resolve differences more effectively.  She also saw that using an impartial outside investigator often generated more open participation from employees who felt that in-house investigators were biased in favor of their employers.  In addition, she knew that using a neutral, independent outside investigator could serve to protect the attorney-client privilege and avoid the suspicion of conflict of interest.

Frequently, at the close of an investigation, an employer asked Ms. Blackwood to mediate disputes between parties or to coach an employee who had crossed a line, but was otherwise a valuable employee.  Ms. Blackwood expanded the scope of her services to include coaching and mediation as a natural next step after an investigation.