Hi Forumites,

I'd like to hear your experience. Is it better to allow an employee the opportunity to respond to a formal complaint against them of harassing and discourteous treatment of other employees during the last hour of the day, or does it matter?



  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Are you asking if it's better to allow them to respond to the complain during the last hour, or does the complaint allege that they commit harassment during the last hour?

  • Sorry...Should I talk to them at the end of their workday?
  • Well, I am thinking you should conduct an investigation and let the person know the allegations. Meet with the accused asap after the interviews with witnesses. Let them know you are conducting an investigation. There are many points to cover with the accused then let them have the time to respond without interupting him/her.

    If you are investigating and not firing make the time for a point in the day that provides ample time for the accused to give you their slant.

    Unless you are firing them on the spot, I hope you are conducting a thorough, well documented investigation.

    Good luck
  • Yes, the investigation was done...this was her opportunity to respond. We were advised to let her take the report home overnight and return her response by 10:30 a.m., or to respond on-the-spot. That's why I wondered if later in the day would be best.
  • Personally, I would probably address the issue with the ee immediately. That reduces the chance of something slipping out via the grapevine.

    If the employee can go back to work, great. If she is emotionally distraught, send her home (with pay) and give her some time to think it all through, collect her thoughts, and respond back in the morning.

    I don't see a need to wait until the end of the day in this type of a situation.

    Good luck! Let us know what you decided to do and how it went.
  • First of all, when I do an investigation like this, the accused is the second person I talk to after the accuser. I talk to the accused immediately for reasons already iterated above. Then after the investigation is finished and we've come to a conclusion, if there is disciplinary action I often do it at the end of the day to give them something to think about when they go home. But, at that point the accused is already aware of what is going on and usually is aware of what will happen. If it is a termination, I do it at the end of the day, typically.
  • I am the primary investigator in our organization, and my focus has always been more on promptness of response vs. timing toward the end of a workday for the sake of the accused. I would, therefore, not wait until the last hour of the day. I would opt to respond as quickly as possible after a decision is made, and I would not allow the accused the opportunity to take my response home, think it over or sleep on it, and offer rebuttal. That does not mean that I would not be open to challenge from the accused, but if my investigation yielded evidence that the accused is no longer accused but now guilty, the only response I would expect would be for our organization to reconsider the form of discipline issued.

    We do have some circumstances that may be different from yours: 24/7 operations with varying times for ends of shifts and legally protected vulnerable adults and minor children as customers. My perspective is that delaying a bad news message until the last hour of one's shift when I have evidence that a worker is guilty of committing whatever offense prompted the investigation gives that same worker almost a whole shift to sabatoge our organization by us allowing continued access to our protected populations. Because of the way we respond, the accused knows about the investigation early on, knows what the allegations are, and knows that we are working to resolve an investigation quickly and effectively.

    Simple answer to your question. We do not purposely wait until the last hour of a shift. Expanded answer--We think doing so would introduce a greater risk of exposure. Example--I investigated sexual harassment/hostile workplace last week. I notified the accused of the allegations and interviewed the accused within hours after the allegations surfaced. The accused confessed (and signed a confession) that there was unwelcome physical advances toward another employee, the other employee requested that the advances stop, and there were multiple instances of sharing sexually explicit photos via cell phone with other coworkers. We acted quickly after the confession (within minutes). The worker chose to resign with unfavorable rehire vs. discharge, was escorted to the timeclock to clock out and out of the building to the parking lot. The guilty employee was never allowed to return to the work area or interface with coworkers, and by default was not allowed access to customers (in a long-term care setting with protected senior citizens). That worker was also nowhere near the last hour of the shift. That worker also knows that we have a confession, can challenge the offer for resignation, but will probably not stand a chance in a different outcome.

    Best wishes.

    Best wishes.
  • Thanks, everyone! I followed your advice and met with her early in the day. It went better than I expected.

    Maybe she's tired of the fight???
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