Do you detect a certain reluctance by employees to cooperate when investigators are trying to do their jobs and get to the bottom of employment problems? Then it may be time to remind employees that you expect honest and forthright cooperation, and nothing less. Then, go ahead and discipline employees who don’t cooperate.
Recent case: Ronald Dible was employed by the Chandler Police Department. After learning that he was running a web site featuring sexually explicit photographs of his wife, the department fired Dible for violating its regulation prohibiting officers from bringing discredit to the city service. The department also said Dible provided false answers to district investigators in the course of their investigation.
Dible sued, arguing that the First Amendment protected his involvement with the web site. But the court said that was irrelevant—the city could discipline him.
The reason: He wasn’t disciplined for running the web site, but for lying to investigators when they asked about it. (Dible v. City of Chandler, No. 05-16577, 9th Cir., 2007)