How will they defend firing a VP based on a fraudulent report?

No 2. In a Series on Retaliation in the Workplace:

When a company does a proper and legal termination of an employee for legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons, it may include an investigation.  Investigations can be devastating to a employee’s career and, as it follows, their personal life.  A reputation is earned over many years and company that recklessly dives into an investigation should be prepared to pay out multi-millions in damages  if the employee is successful in proving were damaged by the company.  If the company officers or managers acted out of hatred or ill-will, a jury could award punitive damages in line the defendant’s wealth.  In recent years, several courts across the country have acted to put limits on the size of punitive awards. For example, in California, several courts have not allowed punitive damages to exceed 10 percent of the defendant’s net worth. Storage Servs. v Oosterbaan (1989)214 CA3d 498, 515, 262 CR 689; Michelson v Hamada (1994) 29 CA4th 1566, 1596, 36 CR2d 343.  In Digital  maliciously attac be approached in a way that doesn’t injure the rights of the accused or disrupt the working environment. Workplace investigations are serious matters that can open companies up to big liabilities if done improperly or for the wrong reasons.

Digital’s investigative approach was compared to SHRM standards. One extremely important factor is the report at the end of the process.

According to the Society of Human Resource Management, every report should include:

  • The incident being investigated,
  • Dates.
  • The individuals involved.
  • Key factual findings and credibility determinations.
  • Applicable employer policies or guidelines.
  • Summaries of witness statements.
  • Specific conclusions.
  • The name of the person making a final decision.
  • Issues that couldn’t be resolved.
  • Employer actions taken.

According to Digital, HR secretly investigated Somers based on “complaints.”  They produced a rather sketchy 1 and a half page report which indicated the facts came from  “sources deemed to be reliable.”  Well in that case its highly credible.  The result of the so-called investigations are so far-fetched and random that they deserve a book, not a blog.  In my own best interest, and since they are all false, I won’t repeat them here.

Digital’s report was compared with the SHRM’s checklist:

  • The incident being investigated,
  • Dates.
  • The individuals involved.
  • Key factual findings and credibility determinations.
  • Applicable employer policies or guidelines.
  • Summaries of witness statements.
  • Specific conclusions.
  • The name of the person making a final decision.
  • Issues that couldn’t be resolved.
  • Employer actions taken.

The items crossed out Digital failed to include in their ‘report’  titled “Critical Events”  Now that Digital is defending  themselves in federal court, they need to provide certain documents.   Somers attorney demanded the following items which were due in July 2015:  

  • Names of the witnesses who were supposedly in the investigation
  • Date and time of the investigations
  • Copies of the calendar events by the investigator and witnesses

Nothing has been provided to date.  Digital’s attorney recently stated:

Digital has conducted an extensive review for responsive documents and has not located anything further. We believe that Defendants have sufficiently responded to this request.”  

The reason this is significant:  The “report” Digital issued was said to be based upon the findings from witnesses.  The report is the single piece of correspondence used to determine Somers firing and  –  it’s fraudulent.

Digital may be foolish to continue to put their credibility on the line and press ahead trying to build a case on evidence that doesn’t exist.