Do It Right...
Or Risk It All...
You say your good at employee investigations already but... Are you ready for...
Someone walking into your office and reporting that they were raped by their supervisor!
This actually happened to me and I provide the story and details in a link below. This was an extremely eye opening incident.
I have provided some real stories where investigations are critical to the outcome. I think you will enjoy them as well as learn from them.
Even when you think the situation is cut and dry and want to immediately jump to a conclusion - fight the urge - make sure you are checking the facts first. You will be glad you did.
Not doing so may put your company at great risk!
Remember one very important fact as you consider your plan - statistically juries favor terminated employees.
Average claims are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
You will find my very personal detailed account on each of the above situations on this website.
Complete the Open Blocks to Prepare an Employee Written Warning Notice
Employee Investigations - What's Real... What's Not...
The list goes on and on - but one thing is for sure. Part of the process of employee investigations is that you need to sort through what's real - and - what's not!
Also - I can say that in my 35 years of handling every type of employee action I have never lost when challenged by the legal system. And I was challenged.
Like I mentioned - do not jump to conclusions when you are conducting employee investigations. Go through each step carefully. Don't skip interviewing key players in the event they are not available - wait for them to return.
Employee Investigations - You Just May Find Something You Were Not Looking For...
What you might find while you are conducting employee investigations could be several things.
You may find that you need to improve your policies and procedures. You may need to improve your employee handbook.
You may need to do more training.
You may discover an entirely different issue or weakness - unrelated.
The list goes on and on.
By doing your due diligence when conducting employee investigations you are assuring yourself that whatever decision is arrived at can be substantiated later.
* She Told Me She Was Raped!
* Eleven Years on the Job and Caught Stealing
* Why Did You Kick a Hole in the Wall?
* He Must Have Had More Than 17 Drinks Before Coming to Work!
Some examples would be such as.
At an unemployment hearing.
If charged with an unfair labor practice.
If charged with wrongful termination.
If charged with discrimination.
It reinforces your progressive discipline process
Get the point! In some cases the owner or Human Resource Professional can personally be held accountable. So don't be reckless.
Employee Investigations - Slow and Steady Wins the Race...
What I have learned through my 35 years of experience is slow and steady wins the race.
Don't misunderstand this for procrastination. You are not going to sit still and do nothing. Just make sure your i's are dotted and your t's are crossed.
Years ago I purchased a pick up truck. My very first pick up truck. Although it was not new - it was nice. It had the topper on the back. It was two toned in color. The only thing missing was a nice stereo. I put $2500 down - they slapped a paper temporary license tag in the back window - and away I went.
If you could have seen me back then - I had the biggest smile you can imagine on my face.
Well that smile was wiped out when about six weeks later my truck was stolen right out of my apartment complex parking lot. Of course they waited to steal it after I had placed an expensive stereo in it. Top of the line.
Immediately I contacted the Police and the very first thing they did was go through their process of checking facts.
Yes they wanted to see the keys and the payment book. They needed to make sure I was up to date on the payments. They were checking to see if it had been repossessed. Well I don't blame them - I was a very young Marine at the time. Semper Fi forever!
I then contacted my insurance company. They too were checking facts by making sure the same things the Police did - that I was up to date on the payments.
Remember I said that I had only owned it about 6 weeks. Well I had not even had a chance to make a payment yet. Of course this didn't matter since the payment book showed that to be the case.
After a few weeks without a vehicle I called my insurance company and asked what the hold up was for settling my claim. I was tired of trying to catch a ride with someone to work.
Well what they told me burns in my memory. They said we can not settle this claim because you are not the registered owner of the vehicle.
What I screamed - there must be a mistake. They said no - no mistake. Unless you can show that you are the registered owner - we can not pay the claim.
Now what do I do? Now checking facts was something I needed to do.
I called the county registrars office to find out why it was not registered in my name. They told me that it was still registered in the dealerships name. I told them that I needed to register it in my name. They told me that it would be impossible to register it in my name because it was reported stolen.
I told them - I know I was the one that reported it. They told me it didn't matter. Now my blood was beginning to boil.
I called the insurance company back and explained the situation. They said they understood but... I knew when I heard the but... I was in trouble. Generally nothing good ever follows a but...
Well it wasn't good. They again told me because I was not the registered owner they could not pay my claim.
Again I put on my fact finding hat and then called the dealership. I explained the problem and they were the first ones that seemed concerned to get this vehicle registered into my name. They told me they would help.
I waited a couple of days and then they called back. They told me they were unable to help also. They told me they were sorry but they could not get it registered into my name because it had been reported stolen.
Again, now what?
Employee Investigations - The Basics...
Employee Investigations 101 - I needed to go back to the basics and start at the beginning. I pulled out my paper work that I signed when I purchased the truck.
What I discovered was that they were to have the truck registered within the first 30 days of the purchase. Well it had been about 45 days.
What did this mean. It meant that they violated their agreement.
What it meant was that they in fact were the true owners of the vehicle.
I called them and explained this to them. They tried in their most professional manner to explain to me how I was wrong. I presented the paper work - the binding contract - that we both signed and - Wala - I was not the owner of the truck.
They in fact had to refund the $2500 down payment. It was like I had never owned the vehicle.
Point is - when you are checking facts properly - it can answer all the questions - leaving you with a sound decision.
Thank you and May God Bless You!
Thank you for reading my article on Employee Investigations - Return a Written Warning Letter