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Untangling an Employee’s
Web of Deception
HR Stories From The Front Lines*
HR Directors often face employee drama that outshines the most sensational prime time show. From tales of scandalous acts in the breakroom to workplace conspiracies, HR Directors hear the most outrageous stories or excuses from their employees, and sometimes the investigation reveals an unexpected web of lies. How does an employer sift through the lies to uncover the truth?
Learn how one HR Director found the truth hidden beneath a trusted manager’s malicious plot to oust an unwanted employee.
A2Z Device Manufacturing has a problem with Woody, one of its assembly line workers. Woody fancies himself an amateur reporter and records conversations in the workplace including: private conversations with co-workers, counseling sessions with his supervisor, and team meetings.
Woody does not have permission from management or his co-workers to record anything in the workplace. Further, Woody never tells anyone that he is recording their conversations. One day, Woody ‘lets it slip’ that he has recorded every word of a past discussion and threatens to use those recordings against the individual.
Recently, several employees complained to Allen, the supervisor, about Woody’s conduct. The employees believe their privacy is being violated and feel uncomfortable working with Woody. Rather than address the issue, Allen avoided disciplining Woody for performance and behavior issues because he does not want to be caught on ‘Candid Camera.’
Allen comes to you, the HR Director, and asks you to “take care of it.” How should you handle this issue?
Add a No Recording in the Workplace policy to your handbook, then fire Woody for violating company policy.
Review existing policies with Woody, such as your Anti-Harassment Policy, Confidentiality and Proprietary Information Policy, as well as your HIPAA and Cell Phone Use Policy, to ensure Woody understands that recording in the workplace may violate these policies and advise Woody that future policy violations may result in disciplinary action.
There is nothing you can do. Employees have every right to record events that occur in the workplace.
Retaliation: Recognizing A Hidden
Threat in the Workplace
Retaliation claims are the “sleeper cells” of employment litigation. Camouflaged as an innocuous act, the retaliation claim typically remains dormant until activated by another, more egregious act. Are you able to successfully identify potential retaliation claims in your workplace? Consider the following …
Maria has been working for the I Love Food (ILF) company for over 3 years. Over the past month, Maria has noticed that Audrey, the hostess, tends to seat more Hispanics in her section than in those of her coworkers. When Maria questions Audrey about this, Audrey responds, “It has just worked out that way.”
Maria does not believe Audrey and calmly mentions her observation to her manager, Steven. The next day, Steven calls Maria into his office and issues a written warning for “not getting along” with her coworkers.
This information is provided by ePlace Solutions, Inc. which is solely responsible for its content. ePlace Solutions, Inc. is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services. Federal and state laws are more complex than presented here. This information is simplified for the sake of brevity and is not a substitute for legal advice. ePlace Solutions, Inc. disclaims any liability, loss or risk incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this information.Opt out of receiving similar emails in the future.