The society we live in is getting more litigious every day. As seen repeatedly, a false accusation can be just as detrimental to someone as a valid one. Once brought forth and invalidated, the accusee has to go through the process of defending themselves, clearing their name and tolerating retaliation, suspicion, and judgment from fellow coworkers. Being the victim of a false claim is something that goes unrecognized in our current times.
With that being said, there is zero tolerance for workplace harassment and the bottom line is all claims must be taken seriously. One commonality that accusees of false claims share is that they want a thorough investigation to occur to clear their name. An innocent person has nothing to hide. As an employer, here are two tips on how to handle claims when they arise:
- Innocent until proven guilty: In this country, the Declaration of Human Rights grants us the presumption of innocence. This should be implemented in the workplace as well. Until there is a burden of proof brought forth by the accuser, all judgment should be restrained until a proper investigation has been completed.
- Documentation: It is your HR specialist’s job to gather all compelling evidence, conduct interviews, and properly assemble a investigation summary presenting the findings. This documentation needs to encompass everything and clearly state whether the claim was unsubstantiated, corroborated, and what discipline was issued if any. There should also be an action plan drawn up for post-investigation follow up and re-entry into work.
If you have a rigorous HR specialist handling your employee relations needs, false workplace allegations will be exposed and eventually, eliminated in your workplace. Making false accusation is an aggressive act that has the ability to destroy companies, careers, and lives. As employers, we must be more aggressive in our investigation and acquittal process.
annihilate tHReats, piQue advantageousness.