How to Handle a False HR Claim
Human resources departments are legally obligated to investigate and make informed conclusions concerning the validity of every workplace discrimination or harassment claim. Although not every HR claim that turns out to be unsubstantiated can be categorized as false, every claim requires quick and decisive action.
Whereas the accusers may be filing the false claims on a malicious basis, some accusers may be filing a genuine false hr claim. Irrespective of the intentions of the accuser, the false allegation can be disturbing for the accused and can be even damaging if the accusations are serious and with stringent disciplinary actions.
Regardless of the seriousness of the allegations, how the employer or human resources department deals with the accuser can make the difference between resolving the situation lawfully and fairly that all parties consent. Alternatively, a tribunal claim can be brought against the employer should they be the accused. So, let’s see how to handle a false hr claim.
Regardless of any initial concerns or suspicions, you may harbor as to the true nature of the claims, you must approach the allegations fairly and objectively. this means that you follow the company’s in-house complaints procedure as guided in the company complaint policy.
Avert False Accusations
HR professionals can enact proactive measures that can help reduce the likelihood of employees filing false claims. For instance, a stringent anti-harassment policy that expressly defines unlawful harassment or discrimination and sets the expectations for behavior may also set consequences for making false claims.
When the claim is legit or most likely false, termination can be the best way to both protect the business and support the accused. However, if the false claim cannot be completely ascertained, consequences may include a written reproof, mediation, or even temporary suspension.
Fair Investigation to the False Claim
Ideally, a workplace probing into the false allegations should be the starting point. This may involve gathering evidence and interviewing the relevant witnesses. Be sure to interview all parties and witnesses involve independently.
Moreover, the witnesses should confirm that any notes taken during the interview are a true reflection of what was discussed. If not, they should be accorded the opportunity to table their own notes. Should the suggested amendments not tally or be accepted by both parties, then the statement documents should be filed in case the claim is taken to an employment tribunal.
The individual or entity doing the investigation should be unbiased and possibly with no knowledge or involvement with the false accusations. For instance, the HR team or manager from a different department to the accuser and the perpetrator can lead the investigation. If your business is small, a third party can be contracted to do the probing.
Important Questions to Address During Investigation
- What supporting evidence does the accuser have?
- Is the false claim corroborated by a coworker or independent witness?
- Does the alleged perpetrator have relevant evidence in defense?
- Is there a prior history of issues between the employee making such allegations and the alleged perpetrator? For instance, a recent disagreement.
- Consideration of whether mediation between the parties involved is appropriate as it may eliminate the situation at the initial stage.
The employer should act with care and confidentiality during the investigations especially if the allegations are related to sensitive issues like sexual harassment or bullying. The employer should take action swiftly to avoid any issues with gathering evidence and speaking to witnesses. Besides, the accused employee should be given detailed information about the accusations and given enough time to respond accordingly.
Making a Decision on the Investigation Outcome
An employer needs to approach the investigations without pre-emptying a decision. As such, there shouldn’t be an unnecessary or unexplained delay in reaching a decision. After the investigation is concluded, a report should be written summarizing the evidence provided and any inconsistencies thereof. Review the findings to see if there is proof of the validity of the allegations. And if there is, whether the accuser genuinely believed them to be true or whether they pursued a distressing claim.
If the evidence points out that the accusations were made deliberately by the accuser while known to them as false, then appropriate action under the company or organization’s disciplinary policy should be taken. However, if the investigation proves that the claims were false and unfounded, then the accused employee may raise their own grievance which can also be subjected to an investigation.
Taking Disciplinary Action for False HR Claims
In order to take fair disciplinary action, be sure to inform the involved parties about the outcome of the investigation and whether you found the allegations to be true or false. If the allegations are true the accused should be provided with the notice of the accusations leveled against them, the relied evidence to support the disciplinary action. However, the falsely accused should be given enough time to respond by presenting their version of the story.
If you make a mistake when effecting a disciplinary action, it can lead to the accused employee claiming the employment tribunal for unfair dismissal, in case you take a dismissal as disciplinary action against them. If you don’t dismiss the employee based on the company’s disciplinary process as pointed out in the employment contract, then it will be a breach of contract. This way, the employee is at liberty to take legal action against you for breach of contract.
However, if the accused employee has less than two years of providing consistent service in your company, they are not legible to claim unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal. Regardless, the employee can pursue the breach of contract claim in a court of law.
As an employer, it is important to give appropriate lesser warning disciplinary action against the employee making false accusations should they be proved as such. Moreover, it is always advisable to consider mitigating factors like employee’s previous behavior and conduct, previous exemplary service, and length of service in your organization. Also, prove that there has been consistent treatment to all your staff.
If you conclude that the false claim amounted to gross misconduct on the part of the employee, you must come out clearly that the allegations have irrevocably damaged the trust and confidence you had in the employee.
However, there are some allegations or disclosures made by an employee that falls under protected disclosure. A protected disclosure happens where an employee believes the claims fall within the following:
- Environmental risk
- Criminal offense
- Failure to comply with a legal obligation
- Endangers the health and safety of an individual
- Miscarriage of justice
Areas of Risk When Handling False HR Claims
Should you fail to handle false HR claims correctly and in a timely manner at the workplace, the organization stands the risk of employment tribunal claims. To avoid this, here are some of the potential pitfalls to watch out for:
- Always give the accuser appropriate evidence, be it in form of witness statements, social media posts, images in form of pictures or videos. However, all these should be made available during the investigation meeting or offering them enough time to prepare for a proper defense.
- Does the claim fall within the protected disclosure? Employees who make a protected disclosure may bring a claim for unfair dismissal should their employment be terminated as a result of the disclosure.
- Make sure to give the accuser a warning at the beginning of possible consequences of disciplinary action against their false claim before any disciplinary meeting is scheduled.
- Relying on evidence from a single source or witness with no validating evidence may not offer sufficient grounds for disciplinary action against a false hr claim.
- Any employee that makes false accusations and is subject to disciplinary action should be allowed to appeal the decision against them. However, appeals should not be a “predetermined conclusion” but offer an unbiased review of the false claim and evidence.
- Should you wish to have the option to heighten any sanction on appeal, this should be explicitly stated within the organization’s disciplinary policy, or the employee should be allowed an extra right of appeal. Otherwise, it is likely to be taken by the employment tribunal as a breach of process.
- Failure to keep adequate and clear records might taint the entire disciplinary action process. This is, especially true where the accuser disputes the accuracy of the records or notes. Under this scenario, be sure to ask them to provide an accurate version of the records or notes. If you won’t reach an agreement on which of the record version is accurate and correct, be sure to keep both versions. This will come in handy if you end up in the employment tribunal as both versions with the referenced when necessary.
- Unjustified or unexplained delays should not be entertained. Most false hr claims can be handled within a matter of days or weeks. Keep in mind that unjustified delay cannot be looked upon favorably by an employment tribunal. However, you note that some more serious or complicated claims at work such as fraud or sexual harassment may unavoidably take longer to investigate and conclude.
- Avoid relying on the same office or individual to handle or oversee the entire disciplinary process. Ideally, different people should handle the investigation process, disciplinary hearings, and appeals if any. More often, the employment tribunal is faced with the claims that the same person was in charge for the entirely false claim investigation, disciplinary hearing as well as appeal hearing. However, if your company is small, then it is impossible to have different individuals dealing with different phases of the process. Under this circumstance, the employment tribunal will take the view that it is justifiable to contract an external HR consultant to handle the process. Nonetheless, it should be made clear from the beginning that decisions are made appropriately and who will make the verdict for any disciplinary action.
How Do You Fight a False HR Claim?
Some places of work are riddled with active rumor mills, and being subjected to false accusations is certainly easy. However, the situation can only be aggravated by the fact that you are reported to HR. This can put your job at a risk.
To effectively fight false hr claims, it is important to remain calm and gather as much evidence as possible to support your side of the story. Moreover, you can do whatever you can to manage the situation from within your workplace or speak to an attorney should you feel to take legal action to protect your job or reputation. So, how can you fight a false HR claim?
Construct Your Case
Gather as much information as possible about the claims against you
For you to accurately evaluate and defend false claims against you, you first need to know as much about the allegations as possible. Although information about the accusations may be limited, it is important to learn as much detail about the accusations as possible.
For instance, get to know whether the HR manager received a written report about your accusations from the accuser and if possible ask if you can see it. However, bear in mind that if a regulatory agency is involved, you may not have the right to see the content of the report. therefore, the HR manager may turn down your request to see it.
Let the HR department know that you can only respond to the accusations when you know exactly what you are accused of doing and explain that the identified details may be blacked out should your accuser want to remain anonymous.
Apart from taking the official channels in gathering information about your accusations, you can also consider talking to your coworkers to find out the contents of the claim. However, be sure not to engage in gossip or get into an argument in the process.
Write Down Your Version of the Story
You can write down your version of the story if the accusations are centered around a specific incident. For instance, if the accusations are based on an argument with a coworker, you can write your account of the incident from your perspective as soon as possible. By doing so, you stand a chance to remember as many details as possible.
In fact, you should write down your version of events as soon as they occurred. However, this may be impossible if the false allegations come forward weeks or months after the alleged incident happened. If that is the case, simply write all that you can remember.
By writing down the incident, you jog your mind and help unlock whatever happened in detail about the incident that you could not have remembered. Besides, your written account of events may come in handy later on when you decide to respond to the false claims.
Look for Witnesses from your Coworkers
Like there are two sides to every story or incident, you can also find your coworkers on the fringes of the incident who are sympathetic to your plight and more importantly ready to come in as witnesses and allies.
Should any of your coworkers volunteer to be your witness, sit down with them immediately and find out what they know about the accusations. Ideally, schedule your sit down outside your workplace so that you can have a private chat where no one will overhear your conversation while you get undivided attention. Also, you can sit down somewhere during break time if having a meeting outside the workplace is impossible.
However, your coworkers refuse to get involved in the allegations against you, just respect their stand. Some may not want to go on record or get involved in a dispute between two coworkers. This is true, especially for coworkers who privately tell you that they will support you.
Read through Company Policies and Employment Manuals
If the accusations against you are based on violating the company rules or policy, then you should consider going through the rule or policy to understand what it actually requires of employees. Understanding the specific requirements of the rule or policy will help you identify the relevant evidence that might help with your accusations.
If you feel your job is on the line because of the allegations that you breached a rule or policy at your workplace, then you need to know what the exact rule says. However, if your actions were within the company rules or policies, you can rest assured that the claims are false.
However, if you find that your behavior was truly contrary to the stated policy or rule yet it was not enforced, then there may be other coworkers doing the same thing you are accused of. Regardless, bear in mind that that is not an excuse. If the company rules or policies show that did an error, let your employer know immediately so you can correct the situation.
For instance, suppose your coworker has falsely accused you of taking too long for a tea break or so you thought until you read the company policy concerning breaks. You may defend yourself that most people in your department actually take an hour-long tea break and you were following the lead without the knowledge that the policy actually requires a 30-minute tea break. Request to be guided on what to do to correct the misunderstanding.
Make Copies of Your Supporting Documents
Identify any information that potentially supports your version of the story and make copies to show your employer. It information could be in the emails, time cards, or work reports depending on the form of accusations leveled against you.
Supporting documents are important, especially if a coworker is falsely claiming you discriminated against or harassed them. Therefore, anything you can find that indicates fair and equal treatment to them can be handy.
For instance, if you are working as a supervisor and one of the employees who work under your supervision accuses you for discrimination against her for having promoted a male employee who has worked under you a few weeks instead of her who has definitely worked for longer. For this kind of situation, you can provide documents showing you perhaps chose her to but her manager chose someone else.
Besides, you may have information in form of an email from the accuser where she stated she didn’t want to take up any promotions since it would mean she will have to work different hours. If you have these kinds of documents, then you are in a better position to fight false claims.
Talk to Your Employer
Remain Composed, Courteous, and Formal
When talking to your employer or anyone representing your employers- whether it is a manager or an HR offer, the attitude you bring forth will make the difference in how you are treated in the entire process.
If you get angry and begin lashing out, you may involuntarily be confirming the accusations correctly. However, it is important to portray to your employer your inability to handle the allegations. Moreover, try to put yourself in the position of your employer or anyone representing him or her. They are simply trying to get to the bottom of the situation. So, don’t feel that they are your enemy, however, if you treat them as such, they may as well become one.
However, if you feel that you are unable to handle the situation in person, you can request if you can make a written submission in response to the accusations. Moreover, being able to write your responses down allows you to approach the incident in a calm manner without the feeling of being interrogated.
The more your employer relates to you as an individual, the easier it will be able to understand your side of the story concerning the allegations. However, this doesn’t mean you degenerate to a top office snoop. Just look for things and the employer or their representative have in common.
If you and your employer have something in common, be sure to bring it up. However, be cautious not to bring it up in a manner that portrays you are dodging to answer the questions or change the subject. Some individuals are all business at the workplace and they don’t care about the small talk or social chit-chat. So if your employer falls in this category, drop the social chit-chat!
Regardless, if you are able to focus on the thing you and your employer or their representative have in common in a formal way, it can take you a long way in defending yourself against the accusation because they will see you more as an individual like them. This can greatly help if the accusations are based on harassment or behavior of a more personal nature as opposed to breaching workplace rules and policies.
Stick to the Facts
You may be furious about being falsely accused and you may certainly have a few things to say about your accuser. However, it is necessary that you keep calm and let things stay with you. This is because flaring up emotions into this kind of situation or bringing back false allegations can only aggravate the situation that is already messy.
Keep in mind that false allegations can be more frequent when you and your fellow employee don’t get quite along on a personal level. In fact, it can be easy to get fired up about a coworker you find vile or annoying. However, it is essential that you keep a straight head, especially when your pay slop is on the line.
Accusations are just statements that have not been proven true or false. So, your employer is just trying to get to the truth of the matter. And the best way to help your employer unravel the falseness behind the allegations against you is to provide factual evidence that vindicates your innocence.
Cooperate with any Investigation
Based on the kind of accusations, the human resources management or employer may initiate a thorough investigation to determine the truth of the matter. So, fully cooperating and ensuring you are fully available can greatly help with your situation.
Even though the whole process may be tiring and stressful, your unlimited cooperation offers the best way to ensure the situation is resolved as quickly as possible. If you refuse to cooperate or answer questions, the whole process of investigation will stall and your employer may decide to take the accusations as true.
Besides, your cooperation and full participation in the investigation will show your employer that you are taking the situation and obviously your job seriously. Your openness and readiness to engage in discussing the allegations show how caring and committed you are to maintaining cordial employment relationships in the company.
Volunteer to Participate in Mediation
In case the false accusations are more personal in nature, mediation can come in handy. If you think mediation might help resolve the situation and possibly protect your job, then bring up this idea to your employer or human resources department representative.
In the mediation process, a neutral third party is required to work with you and the accuser in a safe and private environment. The mediator only facilitates the reconciliation process and hopefully leads to a mutually acceptable resolution. Most companies and employers have mediation programs put in place for dealing with resolving disputes at workplaces. If yours doesn’t have, then you might want to make a suggestion to your employer to consider setting up such a program.
However, keep in mind that for mediation to run smoothly and deliver results, you have to maintain an open mind about the situation. Regardless of the fact that the allegations may be false, you have to be ready and willing to mend ways and work with your accuser. As such, you may have a take some blame for you to move on, even when you are completely innocent. Although this can be difficult, it could possibly protect your job.
Accept the Consequences
If you are categorized as an at-will employee, then you have limited rights when it comes to disciplinary action being taken against you at your workplace. For instance, if your employer writes you up as a consequence of the allegation, then you are obligated to sign the write-up notice.
Moreover, the courts have often held that any employee turning down to sign a write-up notice, then there is sufficient ground to fire such an employee on an insubordination basis. Although you might have some legal options to pursue to clear your name, you have to accept any disciplinary action taken against you if you really want to keep your job.
Seek Legal Advice
Identify Issues in Your Case
False accusations at workplaces may touch on certain legal issues. By identifying the different kinds of legal issues you might have will help you find the right attorney to give you appropriate advice on how to go about the accusations.
Spotting legal issues in accusations is quite a complex procedure that requires professional help. however, you can easily spot the basic issues which will lead you to an attorney for a consultation. For instance, if your false claims are related to something that may harm your professional reputation, you may file a defamation claim against your accuser.
Also, if your accuser has filed a false accusation against you to manipulate you into doing something in their favor such as giving them a promotion or pay raise, then that situation involves elements of fraud or blackmail. Besides, your accuser may have a discriminatory motive if they have filed a false accusation against you because you don’t want to work with someone of the opposite gender or your race.
Get Appropriate Attorneys
You can get trusted recommendations from family and friends or find attorneys from your local bar association. Most bar associations have attorney-referral services that will come in handy in issue-spotting for your case.
All you need is to answer a few questions about your case via online form or retrieve a list of attorneys who handle clients with work-related issues like you. Moreover, you can do more research on the attorneys you find by looking at their professional websites to learn more about them as well as read their client reviews. This way, you can easily narrow down to the best attorney who can offer you the best advice concerning your situation.
Schedule Consultation Meetings
More often, most attorneys offer a free initial consultation. With this in mind, you can take advantage of this and get advice from a number of attorneys without breaking your bank. Ideally, this is helpful if your accusations involve several legal issues.
However, if you are contemplating taking legal action, then you will want to hire an attorney and schedule consultative meetings at least three times. When you meet for a consultation, ask your attorney whether there is any information the attorney needs before the meeting. Regardless, do your best to provide your attorney with as much information as possible and in a timely manner. This way, the attorney will have adequate time to familiarize with your situation.
Ask Plenty of Questions
When consulting with the attorney be sure to ask as many questions about your situation as possible so that you get as much information as you need. Focus your questions on your case and ask whether the attorney thinks that a lawsuit will be a worthy while shot.
If the attorney believes that you don’t have a case, they will tell you. Likewise, if the attorney thinks you have a case, but it is not watertight, or one that would warranty your time and expense of a lawsuit, they will equally advise you accordingly.
Evaluate Your Options
Once you are done consulting several attorneys concerning your case, you have a decisive decision to make on whether to proceed to file a lawsuit or take a different legal action against your accuser.
If you decide to take legal action by filing a lawsuit against your accuser, employer, or both, you can get in touch with your attorney to help you determine the next steps. But if you decide that taking legal action would waste much of your time and you rather move on, then be sure to talk to your attorneys on the same and thank them for their time.
Once you drop the issue, consider focusing on your job and repairing the damage made (if any) on your reputation as a consequence of false accusations.
What Do You Do When an Employee Makes False Accusations?
More often than not, workplace gossip is harmless and disappears as quickly as it comes up. However, some claims made by employees can run the risk of damaging an employer’s business, career, and reputation of the company.
Allegations made by employees should be thoroughly probed and approached cautiously. More importantly, the employer should handle the claims and the entire situation correctly when an employee files allegations that are later proven to be fabricated. So, what do you do when an employee makes false allegations?
Address the False Accusations
As an employer, employee complaints will often take you by surprise and perhaps you may not know the best way to approach the issue. However, the first thing you should do is to document all the important details of the claim as soon as it is brought to your attention. For instance, note down the date, time, witnesses, and a detailed description of the claim.
Most likely, there will be an investigation to determine the validity of the claims. For that reason, it is important to fully cooperate with the probing process in every step. A third party may be brought to ensure fairness in the entire investigation process. However, if an employee is making false allegations against a fellow employee or individual in higher management, then you will be responsible for participating or leading the probing process.
To prove that the allegations were falsified, the accuser will have to present some concrete evidence that can effectively back up the allegations. Moreover, as an employer, you can gather or provide evidence to discredit the malicious allegations. Relevant evidence may be found in form of voicemails, emails, text messages, or any hard evidence such as documents.
False Claims and At-Will Employment
If your employee accepts an at-will position, they are not assured to stay on employed with you any longer. The employee has a right to quit at any time and for whatever reason. Equally, the employer has the right to terminate their contract any time and for whatever reason with the exception of a legal protection against a discrimination claim.
Therefore, if you find your employee made a false allegation, you are entitled to end the employment contract based on the allegation. Regardless of whether you substantiate the validity of the allegations, the employment contract can still be terminated anytime and no reason should be given to the employee. The employer is not legally bound to conduct a thorough probe into the false claims before terminating the contract with the employee or even conduct any kind of probe at all.
However, if the employer violates the terms of an employee handbook or contract, or uses false accusations to cover up an illegal reason for terminating, there isn’t any law hindering the employer from terminating an employment contract based on false claims. Regardless the employee sees the termination decision as unfair and unethical, it doesn’t make it illegal.
Defamation and False Allegations
Defamation refers to the statements made to injure an individual’s reputation such as slander or libel. If an employee makes false statements about an employer with the aim to damage the employer’s reputation or career, then the employer can investigate whether the statements are true and if so, can file a lawsuit against the employee for defamation.
However, the problem lies with how the employer tackles a defamation claim. For instance, employers must avoid retaliation, especially when opting for a lawsuit against the employee for defamation claims. This is because employees are protected from employer revenge when engaging in activities such as posting the employer’s reviews online.
In this case, the employer ought to ensure that they have a non-discriminatory basis for filing a defamation suit against the accuser. Moreover, an employer should not file an internet-related defamation lawsuit especially if the claims could be considered unlawful and impermissible acts, or retribution.
Without a doubt, handling false accusations from employees can be tricky as an employer. This is because each case is a bit different and how you respond to false accusations made by your employee will essentially depend on the seriousness of the claims and whether or not the employee involved has in the past made such claims or poor decisions.
However, a false accusation doesn’t necessarily need to end up in the termination of the employee contract, especially if the employee confesses and comes clean in his or her actions. Regardless, the employer has the final decision on how to handle a false accusation.
But, if the false accusations made by the employee threaten your reputation and business as a whole, then it is necessary to respond to the accusations in a swift and appropriate manner. Ideally, contact an established employment law attorney for guidance on how to handle the accusations while avoiding consequences that may result from your actions.
Can You Sue an Employee for False Accusation?
Your success can bring out jealousy in others, even your employees. And jealousy can lead your employee to make it the personal business to taint your business with an attempt to bring it down. If your employee is making false accusations against you or your business that could be considered defamatory, the most effective action to take would be positive PR or even sue them.
Hire an Attorney
If you opt to sue your employee, then the first thing to do is hire an expert attorney in employment law. However, if you already have a legal department in your company, then hiring an attorney won’t be necessary. But it is advisable to seek the services of an attorney who specializes or has experience with defamation lawsuits in workplaces.
Since defamation claims can be difficult to prove in the courts, it is best to listen to your attorney on how best to approach a lawsuit against your employee on false accusations. In fact, your attorney should help in determining if there is indeed a case to pursue.
If you have solid supporting evidence to back up and prove the accusations against you or your business are false, your attorney may advise you to pursue a lawsuit. However, be sure to consider how much effort, time, and personal resources pursuing the defamation lawsuit will cost you.
Prove Slander or Libel
Slander involves spoken statements whereas libel is written statements. It is necessary that you know how to distinguish the two since the exact phrasing really matters if you are pursuing a defamation lawsuit. Besides, your attorney must be sure to determine whether the court will regard your company or business as a public entity or a private individual.
Proving defamation is a different experience if you are a public entity compared to being a private individual. Therefore, if your attorney proves that your business or company is construed as a private enterprise rather than a public one makes the entire defamation suite easier. As such, all you need to do is prove that your accuser acted negligently. If you feel that the false accusations are so damaging to the extent that they expose your business to the verge of closing down, then it would be worthwhile fighting in a court of law.
What Happens If Someone Makes a False Claim?
When someone makes a false claim at the workplace, a lot happens. For instance, steps are taken to try and determine whether the claims being made are valid or not. The HR representative or the manager has the responsibility to get to the bottom of the situation and ensure the reputation of the accused and that of the company, in general, is safeguarded. So, what happens if someone makes a false claim?
Investigation into the False Claim
Anytime someone makes a false claim at the workplace, a thorough investigation into the claims should be done. Should the investigation try to show that the claims lack validity, it is necessary to not leave any stone unturned. Even though the employer may be protected from any liability during the investigation and act swiftly, the protection will largely depend on the employer’s quick and decisive actions. After a thorough investigation, the employer may conclude that the claim indeed lacks merit, but this should be done after exhaustively and comprehensively investigating the false claim.
Document What the Investigation Uncovered
The employer should conduct any workplace false claim investigation with the possibility of litigation in mind. This is, especially important if the investigation is pointing to signs of a false allegation. Without a doubt, the accuser and the falsely accused will provide different versions of what transpired and led to the claim. For this reason, document what each party claims happened or did not happen. Moreover, document witness statements you obtain during the investigation.
Keep in Mind the Anti-Retaliation Provisions of the Civil Rights Act and Local Statues
If a claim has no merit conclusion is reached after extensive investigations, the employer should understand the legal repercussions of taking drastic disciplinary action against the complainant. More specifically, the employer should be aware of the anti-retaliation provisions that prevent an employer from taking negative disciplinary action against the employee for simply filing a claim that completely lacks the anti-retaliation provision. As such, it requires knowledgeable legal advice on the part of the employer when faced with a situation where someone has made a false claim.
Take Appropriate Action
If after investigations the claim is found to be false, the employer should decide what disciplinary action to take on the accuser. Deciding on the kind of disciplinary action to take will largely depend on whether the probe produced relevant supporting evidence that the accuser deliberately made a false accusation.
For instance, the anti-retaliation provision does not hinder termination of employment contract for a different reason whether that reason is not a pretext and not based on retaliation for filing a false claim. For this reason, the employer should seek legal advice when it comes to taking disciplinary action against an employee who has filed a false allegation to prevent violating employment laws that cover workplace false claims.
Employers should always encourage their workers to raise concerns and be straightforward about issues in the place of work as part of an open and transparent working culture. There should also be a clear message that tough disciplinary action may be taken against any individual filing false claims or malicious allegations against the employer or coworkers.
Regardless, most employers will have to handle false hr claims at some stage in their business. For this reason, it is advisable that any employer whether in a small or large sector, do their best to get to the bottom of any false accusations by carrying out a thorough yet fair investigation.
While there is some truth in the allegations made, some complaints may overall be exaggerated and therefore a good investigation should be put in place to unravel the actual truth or position of the allegations.
When investigating workplace complaints, be sure to keep documenting every step of the investigation, follow grievance and disciplinary procedures of the company to the latter, and apply them in a fair and reasonable manner to lessen the chances of a tribunal claim.