20 Jan Workplace Misconduct
Workplace misconduct leads to loss of productivity at best. At worst, it can destroy a business. Here is a list of common areas of concern according to KPMG. At the top of the list is wrongful use of the Internet. In most instances this is about viewing pornography on the job.
A prudent business owner strives to deter, detect and eradicate misconduct.
The first step is deterrence. This comes from building policy and procedures and making sure employees are aware of them. It also includes such practical measures such as implementing practical computer security features including logon warning banners, website blacklists on firewalls, etc.
Detecting misconduct requires somebody to be looking for it! Much of this can be automated. For example, computer firewalls can be automated to detect pornographic websites, gambling sites, etc.
Finally, eradicating misconduct requires effectively collecting evidence. If the employee is to be terminated, then it might be wise to ensure the data from the employee’s workplace computer is collected in such a way that it is useful in court. Do this right might even preclude a wrongful termination lawsuit. There are many pitfalls here for someone without the proper experience. For example, the employee may have an expectation of privacy in some instances. An employer may not be legally entitled to take data from the computer (even when computer is the property of the company!) Furthermore, the data must be seized in a matter that it ensures it is collected in a fashion that stands up in court. New evidence rules may require that the evidence be self authenticating. This means that simply using “print screen” is insufficient. The computer should be “imaged” and the image “forensically hashed.”
Our investigators have years of practical experience investigating and prosecuting misconduct in the workplace.