Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder chionardo Novitiate

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    Default being accused of theft with no evidence

    hi there, im having some serious problems at work, yesterday i was called in for a meeting with the deputy manager, where he had a list of alleged breaches of contract i've committed. I work as a fitness instructor/personal trainer in a gymicon. Allegedly a woman gave me an envolpe with money in for a membership 29, one evening, they are saying that i stole it, however i was never given any envelope at all. Secondly they are saying that i personal trained someone for 30 and didnt put it thnrough the system where at the end of the month we recieve 70% of 30 in our pay, again this never took place. They have no evidence of anything as there are no cameras and nobody saw any of these things happen.

    Earlier this year, there was trouble when an employee/manager sent an e-mail to someone forgetting to take me off the cc list, it read "i realy hate him", then a few months later that same person admitted to desroying the original copies of my training certificates., i telephoned the training company and got a letter telling me it would cost 60 for them, fine, the compny said they would get me new ones.......2 months later after me chasing them up....no certificates. This obviously stops me getting another job in the industry as i cannot prove my qujalifications witnout the certificates. Is this all classd as bullying? What can i do? I have a disciplinary on tuesday 2pm, where i think they will try to sack me.

    Any help is much appreiated
    Thanks

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    You say they have no evidence, does this mean that both women who claim to of handed you cash have not made a statement to your company?

    Regarding your certs, I would ring the training company and find out if your company has contacted them about them being replaced. If they haven't and as they are important to your future I would get them myself.

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  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder chionardo Novitiate

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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    well im not sure if they have been given a written statement by these women but i was told that neither of them want their names known and i have been shown no proof of anything at all, its all their word against mine, fact is i did nopt take any envelope or train this fictional other woman. The company is not doing well financially, so i think they're trying to get rid of me to save money. I will ask for the letter back that the training compny ent me and call them myelf however i totally refuse to pay 60 for certificates that were purposely destroyed by someone there.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    Firstly, how long have you worked there?

    Secondly, how was the disciplinary hearing communicated to you and have you been given a right to have a colleague present? Have you received written details of the allegation against you? Their process in bringing disciplinary action may be fundamentally flawed.

    Your response to any allegation should be utter indignation and you should categorically deny any wrongdoing. Insofar as an allegation of theft is concerned you need far more detail than a mere allegation from persons unknown and if they are prepared to pursue this without corroboration then I would demand that the Police be involved. You are entitled to degree of mutual trust from your employer and if these allegations cannot be borne out by CCTV or witness corroboration then the employer should afford you the benefit of the doubt or else suggest why they have reasonable grounds to suspect that the allegation is true. For your part you should be prepared to highlight your unblemished work record, previously unquestioned integrity (responsibility for much larger amounts of money than 30 here and there) and the fact that such allegations have been made are completely without foundation.

    Is there a record anywhere of what you were actually doing when the woman has suggested that you were giving her a private session? Was anybody else on duty at that time who might back this up?

    You also need to raise a written grievanceicon about the destruction of your certificates. If the member of staff is responsible it will be difficult to go back to him personally but it would be helpful if you have any written evidence of the company's agreement that they would replace them. Use that or if not then name names to complain that despite their assurance that they would replace your property, they have failed to do so.

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  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder chionardo Novitiate

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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    thanks sidewinder, here are the answers to your questions.


    Firstly, how long have you worked there?


    I have worked there about 8 months

    Secondly, how was the disciplinary hearing communicated to you and have you been given a right to have a colleague present? Have you received written details of the allegation against you? Their process in bringing disciplinary action may be fundamentally flawed.

    The disciplinary procedure was communicated by taking me into the deputy managers office and asking me about the allegations. Then they told me they were suspending me on full pay from that minute and that I had to leave the premises. I was told that a letter would be delivered to my house by hand, which it was, my mum went to the door and took the letter, there was no receipt signed though. The letter contained the allegations but no specific details or details of evidence.


    Your response to any allegation should be utter indignation and you should categorically deny any wrongdoing. Insofar as an allegation of theft is concerned you need far more detail than a mere allegation from persons unknown and if they are prepared to pursue this without corroboration then I would demand that the Police be involved. You are entitled to degree of mutual trust from your employer and if these allegations cannot be borne out by CCTV or witness corroboration then the employer should afford you the benefit of the doubt or else suggest why they have reasonable grounds to suspect that the allegation is true. For your part you should be prepared to highlight your unblemished work record, previously unquestioned integrity (responsibility for much larger amounts of money than 30 here and there) and the fact that such allegations have been made are completely without foundation.


    Where I work there are no CCTV cameras in the gymicon, and as far as I am aware they are not claiming that anything was seen either, apart from this woman saying that she gave me the envelope....which never happened. Also I have cashed up for the last 6 months or so on my own and no money has ever gone missing before, usually there is at least 50 in the till, sometimes a couple of hundred pounds.

    Is there a record anywhere of what you were actually doing when the woman has suggested that you were giving her a private session? Was anybody else on duty at that time who might back this up?


    At the time they are alleging I took the envelope, there would have probably been no one else on duty, as the place is under-staffed and as I mentioned above, for the last 6 months I've been left on my own from about 7:30pm until closing at 10:00pm when I do the cashing up. As for the woman I've supposedly trained, they have not told me when it was or who it was, this is what I mean, there are no details or evidence.

    You also need to raise a written grievanceicon about the destruction of your certificates. If the member of staff is responsible it will be difficult to go back to him personally but it would be helpful if you have any written evidence of the company's agreement that they would replace them. Use that or if not then name names to complain that despite their assurance that they would replace your property, they have failed to do so.

    I will look at the greivance procedure and write a letter regarding the certificates. I dont have any written evidence that they said they would replace them, could I ask now, or maybe they would refuse it now. I will be happy to name names as to who promised that my certificates would be replaced. They have had at least 2 months to get new ones.
    Other things I were considering bringing up were general bullying, including the abusive e-mail (I have evidence), destruction of my property (have idmitted evidence), also another member of staff, the adminicon lady being abusive to me because keys were left in the till while I was upstairs, however when I went upstairs there was another member of staff still on shift and behind the desk with the keys, I reported this to my manager - whos the person that promised the new certificates.

    Thanks



  6. #6
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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    I have to say that although by no means a foregone conclusion, I am a little worried that the lack of 12 months service may not work in your favour. With a year's service you would have additional protection which would mean that your employer has to be more careful when taking disciplinary action, as you would be able to take action for Unfair dismissalicon if they were to get rid of you without good cause or without following correct procedure.

    My advice is still the same - give them absolutely no doubt that you are innocent - however if your fears are correct and that this is an excuse for costcutting, there is little that you will be able to do if dismissal is the end result.

    Please let us know how you get on.

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  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder Gogivit Novitiate

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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    Don't people have to book in or sign in when entering these places?


  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder chionardo Novitiate

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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    I sent them a letter delivered by hand by my brother, they say I'm not allowed on the premises. The letter said that I was unable to attend the meeting scheduled for today as I have the flu (which I do) also due to the amount of notice I had been given (one day) I felt this was not long enough to prepare myself.

    I provided them with 3 alternative dates which would be more appropriate. I also asked them for a copy of any written statements they had supporting these allegations and any other documentation they would be referring to in the forthcoming interview. Finally mentioned that I was not allowed sufficient time to get my personal belongings or a copy of the staff handbook which contains the disciplinary procedure.

    My brother took this letter to the gymicon and asked for it to be passed to the deputy manager who is dealing with the issue. I got him to ask for the person taking the letter to write a receipt and sign it to prove it was given to them (didnt want them saying I just didnt turn up with nothing to let them know)

    SO... a few hours ago there was a knock on my door, my mum answered it, it was someone handing her a letter from my work. They did not get her to sign anything, does this mean that technically they did not deliver it, as there is not proof that I received anything?

    Their letter read:

    "I am sorry to hear that you have the flu, and under these circumstances it is acceptable to delay our meeting in accordance with the statutory procedure.

    I have re-arranged the meeting for Tuesday 30th December at 2pm. Enclosed is a copy of the Company disciplinary procedures. I have also enclosed a list of the dates in question and can confirm that I have a written statement to confirm these dates and the payments made. In fairness to the client, I am not prepared to send a copy to you, but will make a copy available to you at our meeting. In addition, I have enclosed my notes from the preliminary investigative meeting on the 20th December 2008"

    (I was not told what I had to see then manager about and so I didnt take anyone else with me, however the manager had someone else there, is this right??)

    I dont know what to do, shall I just send a resignation letter or should I go to the meeting?? I'm so angry with these people, its pure bullying and just trying to get rid of me, I never stole anything!

    Any further help?
    Thanks


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder stanroyal Novitiate

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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    As a totally unqualified commenter - I would say never resign if you may need to sign on for any benefits to tide you over. You will be seen to have put yourself out of a job.

    I would stick to your guns - absolutely insist that you have done nothing wrong and then go after them for your certificates. That is absolutely disgraceful and there is no way you should be paying to replace them yourself (although you may well have to in the end). If they do sack you ask them for the 60 to be added to your final pay as an expense - or if you have an expenses claim form system - put a claim in and hand it to them during the meeting.

    Also - don't let them get you down..... it's about whose face fits sometimes. You'll find somewhere were you will be appreciated in the long run.


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder chionardo Novitiate

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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    stanroyal thanks for help, i know i cannot claim unfair dismissalicon as ive only been there 8 months, but is it too late to make a serious complaint about bullying, i mean brinmg back up the e-mail, certs, and accusing of stealing to whoever is above the person who sacks me? Also does it mean that because they apparently havbe statements these arfe seen as hard evidence and stand up, surely its no different from me writing on a peice of paper that the manager stole money? No proof..

    Thanks


  11. #11
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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    Suggest telling them that unless they are prepared to produce at least 7 working days prior to any meeting a signed 'statement of truth' from your accusers you are not prepared to have a meeting without legal representation. Furthermore if they maintain their criminal libel you will yourself report the matter to the police after which you will sue for criminal libel the company, it's officers, managers & those individuals who are making highly distressing allegations of theft against you

    Remind them that it is in itself a criminal offense to knowingly make false accusations of criminal behaviour against another

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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    Trust me mate do not give in my company tried to do the exact same to me before i was there a year and i beat there ass in to the ground at the end of it all they done me on a reasonable belief because i shot all their evidence to the ground and In your case what i would do first is get yourself a union rep as the company are under a legal obligation to allow you representation to the meeting ask them for the witness statements as you need to see them before you are able to defend yourself as you re still unsure of the aligations brought against you and then all you have to do is cast doubt on the evidence and you will triumph and they will not be able to sack you as they will not have evidence just a belief which on its own is not reasonable grounds of termination and all though you have not been there a year they still have to abide by the law and you can still take them to a tribunial if they fail to follow their end of the contract so make sure you go over all their policies with a fine tooth comb and use it to your advantage. good luck mate


  13. #13
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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    Quote Originally Posted by Ihatedca's View Post
    Trust me mate do not give in my company tried to do the exact same to me before i was there a year and i beat there ass in to the ground at the end of it all they done me on a reasonable belief because i shot all their evidence to the ground and In your case what i would do first is get yourself a union rep as the company are under a legal obligation to allow you representation to the meeting ask them for the witness statements as you need to see them before you are able to defend yourself as you re still unsure of the aligations brought against you and then all you have to do is cast doubt on the evidence and you will triumph and they will not be able to sack you as they will not have evidence just a belief which on its own is not reasonable grounds of termination and all though you have not been there a year they still have to abide by the law and you can still take them to a tribunial if they fail to follow their end of the contract so make sure you go over all their policies with a fine tooth comb and use it to your advantage. good luck mate

    Goodness me, what a load of........

    Your employer can dismiss you without giving a reason within the first 12 months, so long as its not discriminatory on grounds of race, pregnancy etc, so all this talk of 'not be able to sack you' is just nonsense. The OP knows this.

    Having said that, you must defend yourself vigorously if you are innocent. You may still end up out of a job but at least you will know you werent dismissedicon because of theft.

    Make the employer produce evidence, not allegations. It will be impossible for them to have evidence if you are innocent.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    Quote Originally Posted by p_cas View Post
    Goodness me, what a load of........

    Your employer can dismiss you without giving a reason within the first 12 months, so long as its not discriminatory on grounds of race, pregnancy etc, so all this talk of 'not be able to sack you' is just nonsense. The OP knows this.

    Having said that, you must defend yourself vigorously if you are innocent. You may still end up out of a job but at least you will know you werent dismissedicon because of theft.

    Make the employer produce evidence, not allegations. It will be impossible for them to have evidence if you are innocent.
    What are you talking about i know exactly what i am talking about. I was getting accused of fraud which i did not do so please tell me how they can sack you without going through the proper process. They cannot just dismiss you at any time. That is just stupid to even think that they could just fire you and that is that they have to give a reason and it has to be a good one just because you cannot take them to a tribunial does not mean that there are not other things you can do.


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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    Quote Originally Posted by Ihatedca's View Post
    What are you talking about i know exactly what i am talking about. I was getting accused of fraud which i did not do so please tell me how they can sack you without going through the proper process. They cannot just dismiss you at any time. That is just stupid to even think that they could just fire you and that is that they have to give a reason and it has to be a good one just because you cannot take them to a tribunial does not mean that there are not other things you can do.
    p_cas is right. Anyone can be dismissed for any reason or no reason at all. Of course that does not make it right and if the dismissalicon was unfair(more than 12mths service), wrong or discriminatory then their would be reapercussions at an ET. However the dismissal would have still taken place.


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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    you know, just from reading his thread, it seems to me that the employer just wants rid of them, and is using the alledged theft as a convenient excuse.
    thing is though, if no conclusive evidence of theft can be produced, but yet in their correspondance they make reference to it, then you could get them for libel, regardless if you end up dismissedicon or not, as being dismissed form a job on the grounds of unsubstaniated theft can leave you with a black smear on your character, and thus could lead to problems in the future.

    not really helpful i know, but its a thought.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    Quote Originally Posted by Ihatedca's View Post
    they have to give a reason and it has to be a good one
    With 8 months service you have no statutory right to reasons for dismissalicon unless you are pregnant or on mat leave etc at the effective date of termination ERA 1996, s.92(3).

    Good practice would of course be for them to let you know written reasons, but if you submitted a request for such, they would be under no legal obligation to comply.

    Kind regards

    Che

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    Quote Originally Posted by Ihatedca's View Post
    the company are under a legal obligation to allow you representation to the meeting
    Sorry, no.

    The right exists to be accompanied and for the person who accompanies you to act as a witness to the meeting. There is no right to representation.


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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    There is if the accusation involves criminal conduct by the interviewee.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: being accused of theft with no evidence

    I am in a similar position myself but just not on the same scale at all. I work in a cafe and my boss made a sarcastic comment to me today about a piece of honeycomb missing from one cake. Im not stupid and I know she was accusing me of taking it. I'm not a thief and I'm really upset that after a year and their longest serving member of staff that I'd be accused of such a little thing like that. Either way you look at it, theft is theft and thats what i've been accused of whether it was 1000 or a piece of honeycomb from a cake. Maybe I'm over reacting but I am really upset about it...

    I asked a fellow staff member about it and they said they had no idea. I'm really stuck with what to do.

    my boss has no proof it was me. has she got the right to accuse me of doing something like theft without any proof?



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