Upcoming Webinar: October 12, 2023 @ 12:30 P.M. (EDT)  |  Ethical Issues in Workplace Investigations: The Education Sector Edition Register Today!

Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

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Just ‘fess up!

While you’re here, you may wish to attend one of our upcoming workshops:

A follow-up to our popular webinar from earlier this year, “Ethical Issues in Workplace Investigations,” in this webinar, we’ll consider the unique ethical issues that arise in investigations in the education sector specifically. What is ethically appropriate (or not) as an investigator when it comes to interviewing minors, communicating with parents, and dealing with evidence from social media?

I was thinking this past week about the FIFA world cup qualifying match between France and Ireland. If you haven’t heard, France won after their captain allegedly handled the ball, resulting in the winning goal. Irish fans were irate that the captain of the French team did not admit his alleged violation.

In the workplace, we often hear of employees engaging in improper or even illegal behaviour and the question is “why don’t they just admit it?” I’m not a psychologist so I won’t speculate on motivation, but what we can say as employment lawyers is that employees should always acknowledge their misdeeds in the workplace.

Meeting the standard necessary to establish just cause for employee termination is difficult for employers, but it gets increasingly easier when an employee lies about his or her behaviour. Recent case law is replete with examples of occasions where just cause is found, not because of what the employee actually did, but because they lied about it. A word to the wise employee: “just ‘fess up!”

Christine M. Thomlinson