It may sound silly, but there’s a very practical reason to be careful when questioning employees during an investigation: Some especially sensitive people may feel they are being held involuntarily—and sue for false imprisonment.
Let employees know they can take a break from your inquiries at any time.
Recent case: Leslie Burton was a manager at Carter Bloodcare and had a long history of alienating her subordinates. As employees quit or transferred to other jobs,became concerned that Burton’s style was creating unnecessary conflict in the workplace.
The consultant the company hired to investigate employees’ allegations used a small, empty office to conduct interviews, some of which lasted an hour or two. The consultant called in Burton, closed the door for privacy and, for almost three hours, discussed Burton’s management style with her. Based in part on the consultant’s findings, Burton was terminated.
She then sued, alleging false imprisonment. She claimed that she was ambushed, cross-examined and essentially prevented from leaving the room for three hours.
The court tossed out her claim, reasoning that nothing about the session was so traumatic as to constitute false imprisonment. (Burton v. Carter Bloodcare, No. 02-11-00003, Court of Appeals of Texas, 2nd District, 2012)
Final note: The company kept Burton on staff for several years before deciding her behavior was unacceptable. Don’t let bully managers linger. Instead, heed warning signs such as sudden subordinate resignations and transfer requests.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/29901/questioning-employees-avoid-imprisonment-charge-by-ensuring-they-know-they-may-leave "