• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Do you have a ‘No lying’ policy? It could be a legal lifesaver

by on
in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

If you don’t have one, consider adding a general honesty or misrepresentation clause to your employee handbook. Such a clause can come in handy when you are looking for a solid reason to discharge someone who just isn’t being upfront and honest with the company, but technically may not have violated a specific work rule.

Recent case: Debra Brock worked for Honda as a production associate. When she had to have her gallbladder removed, she took FMLA leave. Her doctors certified how long she should stay off work, and she gave the certification to her supervisors, who approved her leave.

Meanwhile, the company got an anonymous phone call from someone who reported seeing Brock working as a dog groomer. Allegedly, Brock told the caller, “Don’t tell anyone I’m working here.”

Honda checked its records and saw that Brock was off work pursuant to her doctor’s certification. Naturally curious, management decided to find out what Brock was actually doing while incapable of working on the production line.

Honda sent an investigator (and his dog) to a shop called Shaggy Dogs. The investigator spoke with Brock, who was wearing a Shaggy Dogs smock. Brock took the dog to be washed, brushed the dog and cleaned out the dog’s carrier before returning it to the investigator. The investigator captured it all on video.

When Brock’s leave was up, she was called into a meeting and asked about her activities while off. She denied working anywhere, but when confronted with the Shaggy Dogs business, she confessed to visiting the shop often and sometimes answering the phones. She was not told about the tape.

Honda fired Brock for violating a misrepresentation clause that appears in Honda’s handbook. She sued, alleging interference with her right to take FMLA leave. It was then that she learned everything had been videotaped.

The court tossed out her case. It reasoned that Honda had a legitimate reason for its decision: Brock violated a company rule by being dishonest about her Shaggy Dog story. That had nothing to do with her FMLA leave. (Brock v. Honda of America, No. 2:06-CV-257, SD OH, 2007)

Final note: Another way to discourage employees on FMLA leave from using their time off to work elsewhere is to enforce a “no moonlighting” clause.

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/4160/do-you-have-a-no-lying-policy-it-could-be-a-legal-lifesaver "

Leave a Comment