Disciplinary Councils

I’ve gotten two e-mails asking about disciplinary hearings at work. Neither are union members and both work for large companies. The strange thing is, a hearing is being held but the accused isn’t allowed to attend.

Now, I realize that companies are not required to hold to the standards that the government must. There is no law (to my non-lawyer knowledge) that requires a company to allow an employee to defend himself. But, please explain why you are bothering to hold a “hearing” without allowing the defended to attend.

One person can submit a written statement, but can’t see the written statement that his accuser is submitting. How is that rational? I can accuse a colleague of all sorts of horrible things and since he can’t see it, how is he supposed to defend himself?

If you aren’t going to allow a defense, why call it a “disciplinary hearing”? Just do the investigation and come to a conclusion. A good investigation sometimes involves talking to the same people more than once.

Somebody help me out and explain this to me because it seems like a bad idea.

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6 thoughts on “Disciplinary Councils

  1. Calling it a "disciplinary hearing" sounds much better than calling it a "disciplinary inquisition".

  2. I smell someone trying to "fire someone for cause" and avoid paying the increase in unemployment insurance.

  3. This sounds like they need to start documenting the hell out of what's going on, send emails to their bosses confirming their exclusion from the process and documenting their objects, hire a lawyer, and prepare to be fired.

  4. @ The Plaid Cow

    But no one expects a disciplinary inquisition.

    In all seriousness, the idea sounds crazy, and possibly a great reason to start looking for another job. I don't trust companies without transparency of some type.

  5. I work for a great company, but our HR department reeks. And yes, we have disciplinary hearings. HR had already decided before the investigation on who was guilty, and how they were going to have it come out. Usually that was dictated by the manager.

    They finally got caught. They are no longer allowed to do investigations, and they had to go through and redact a bunch of investigation findings. Unfortunately, they didn't fire the people that did this. Which is too bad, considering how many lives were ripped apart by these people. Especially the innocent ones.

    I feel that HR is the one thing that stands between our company and true excellence. How do you fix a culture like that?

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