• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Snuff out gossip about firings; don’t forward damaging e-mail

by on
in Employment Law,Firing,Human Resources

New York Life forbade employees to use their corporate American Express cards for personal items. But Phyllis Meloff says she got permission to use the card for her commuting costs as long as she reimbursed the company.

At one point, however, she didn't make any reimbursements for nine months. During that time, she complained that she didn't get a promotion because of discrimination. When she finally tried to reimburse the company, she was fired for misusing the card.

Meloff's supervisor sent an e-mail to seven managers with the subject heading "Fraud" that said Meloff had used her company card "in a way in which the company was defrauded." The e-mail quickly spread to several other managers and lower-level staff. Meloff sued for retaliation and defamation.

A jury tossed out the retaliation claim, but it did award her $1.25 million for defamation. (Meloff v. N.Y. Life Insurance Co., No. 99-9033, 2nd Cir., 2001)

Advice: Don't let accusations be disclosed throughout ?your work force. Most jurisdictions don't hold employers liable for statements made in connection with "good faith" investigations of misconduct. But you'll lose that right if your statements are false and malicious.

Also, apply your policies consistently. Another employee simply had his card canceled for making personal charges.

Final note: E-mail has a longer life than the sender anticipates, and the damage can multiply each time it's forwarded. New security software lets you control how recipients use the message, such as whether they can print or forward it. Three top vendors: www.disappearinginc.com, www.authentica.com and www.qvtech.com.

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/940/snuff-out-gossip-about-firings-dont-forward-damaging-e-mail "

Leave a Comment