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HR Horror Story

Some of us may have sent the odd nude photo to a partner before.  You hear about celebrity’s accounts being hacked all the time, right?  So, what happens when an uninvited nude photo is seen by a co-worker?

This happened at a company I will just call X.  A worker who is known for his playful nature and the team leader were telling some dirty jokes about the size of what was in their pants in front of a female worker.  A comment was made about her being able to handle the “load” by the team leader.  The co-worker then kept going with the joke and showed her a picture of his penis asking if she could handle that.  The female employee took it in her stride and laughed it off.

Later that day all 3 employees were asked into the manager’s office.  Another employee had been offended by what they had heard and seen and made a complaint.  A formal investigation was going to be conducted to determine what had happened and the consequences of these actions.

The team leader and male co-worker were stood down while the investigation was taking place and the female employee continued to work while being advised to report to management if anyone questioned her about the events that took place.

This is a real life scenario currently being investigated and it happens all too often.  Employees conduct themselves in a manner not conducive to the workplace and that can have serious ramifications such as potential stress claims and dismissals.  Not to mention the costs and potential reputational damage this can create for the business.

Here at HR Gurus top tips to investigations in the workplace.

  • Should the investigation be formal or informal?

Formal investigations should be undertaken when there is a risk of harm to anyone involved in the incident or to the company.

  • Who conducts the investigation?

This will depend on how serious the nature of the investigation is.  Always contact HR as soon as an incident occurs and they will guide you through the process.

All parties being interviewed must be aware they need to keep all discussions confidential.

  • Who is interviewed?

Anyone involved in the incident.  The complainant, the offender, the victim(s) and any witnesses.

  • Reporting and Recommendations.

Once all interviews have taken place the people conducting the investigation will write a report of witness statements, what would have taken place and recommendations.

If you need help conducting work place investigations call HR Gurus on 1300 959 560 and one of our highly-trained HR professional will be able to assist.

Written by resident HR Guru Natalie Bol.

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