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Facing disciplinary action for being innocent


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My son has been accused of stealing money from his employer and has to attend a disciplinary meeting tomorrow. The basis for this is that he went to the toilet 3 times. He was also searched 3 times, both himself and his belongings and nothing was found. The searches were carried out with his consent. He was then called in to be suspended today, but no other person has been searched or accused of this. I'm very concerned for him and wondered if anybody could give me some advice on the matter. :-|

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Hello there and welcome to CAG. There isn't very much time for people to help before tomorrow, but it does sound as if your son's employers may not be following their own procedures. I would have thought that a day between being suspended and the disc meeting is too short for your son to prepare, but hopefully others will be along to comment.

 

You might want to look at the Directgov and ACAS websites for information on this. Do you think there could be an element of discrimination against your son? Do you know why they might have searched him please? Was it just about the money?

 

Even if no-one else turns up this evening, all may not be lost after the meeting tomorrow.

 

My best, HB

Edited by honeybee13
Missed part of original post.

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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To be honest, I think there has been an element of discrimination against him for the past few weeks, but in respect to the cash going missing, I know this has happened at least once before a couple of months ago and my son wasn't working when that went missing. They also keep accusing him of using his mobile phone when he's meant to be working (the same two members of staff keep reporting this) and he was searched yesterday for this too, but he was still disbelieved even after that search proved fruitless.

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Also, the reason for the search was just about the money being missing. His meeting isn't until 5pm do there is still time for anyone to help my son and I. Thankyou if you're able too.

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It says that his property can be searched at any time and without notice if the circumstances are considered necessary. He allowed them to not only search his belongings, but also his person, even so far as telling them to physically check inside his pockets. As a joke, the guy who did it said that he would gave to strip to his boxers, to which my son replied that he could if he wanted as he had nothing to hide.

 

He has used his phone on a few occasions, but yesterday, which was when this episode began, he gad left his phone in his bag in the staff room. When accused of using his phone, he was searched by the same guy who searched him twice more later on with reference to the missing money and was found not to have his phone, to which the guy who searched him informed the supervisor, who then told him to put his phone in his bag, where it already was. Needless to say, it is the original informant and the subsequent supervisor who seem to be constantly accusing him of things.

 

I'm unaware of what the disciplinary procedure is, as in his contract, it states that it's in his company handbook, but he's never been given a handbook.

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It says that his property can be searched at any time and without notice if the circumstances are considered necessary. He allowed them to not only search his belongings, but also his person, even so far as telling them to physically check inside his pockets. As a joke, the guy who did it said that he would gave to strip to his boxers, to which my son replied that he could if he wanted as he had nothing to hide.

 

He has used his phone on a few occasions, but yesterday, which was when this episode began, he gad left his phone in his bag in the staff room. When accused of using his phone, he was searched by the same guy who searched him twice more later on with reference to the missing money and was found not to have his phone, to which the guy who searched him informed the supervisor, who then told him to put his phone in his bag, where it already was. Needless to say, it is the original informant and the subsequent supervisor who seem to be constantly accusing him of things.

 

I'm unaware of what the disciplinary procedure is, as in his contract, it states that it's in his company handbook, but he's never been given a handbook.

So when he arrives at the disciplinary, he should point out that he's never had a handbook, request one and have the hearing postponed.

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That's what I was thinking to be honest, but my sons of the frame of mind that he just wants to get it over and done with, but I feel that this may jeopardize his job. Thankyou for your advice ;-)

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outofsync

your son is entitled to enought time to prepare his defense and shoould have the oppurtunity to give and call evidence and to call witness's obviously the disapline is today if the outcome is not good then he needs to appeal on the grounds of a defective disapline hearing eg the employee has had insufficient time to prepare a case, the appeal hearing MUST not have involved the person that had been involved in the prior disaplianary hearing. at the disaplinary today there should be someone taking notes and hopefully your son has taken a collegue in with him, in either instances for a good outcome or not your son is entitled to have a written copy of the minutes of the meeting and his employment file the company has on him, hope this helps

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I think he should do what Elpulpo says and show that he's aware of how things should be done, even if the bosses aren't. They sound unpleasant.

 

Wish him luck from me, but tell him not to be pushed about. There are plenty of caggers behind him now :).

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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also they have to prove where and when this money went missing. im guessing that it is a retail enviroment that ur son works in, so i assume there must be some kind of cctv involved, and was the search of ur son witnessed?

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Thanks for the advice guys. The company has said that I can be there for the disciplinary which is why I'm collecting all of the information available to me.

 

I also read somewhere that if you had holiday time booked then the action ceases for the time you're away then resumes when you come back. Could anybody confirm this for me too as we are away for Easter weekend.

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He works in a restaurant. The money was in a glass jar in a room which the supervisor (the one, who I think, has a problem with my son) says was locked. She asked him to go with her and the other member of staff mentioned earlier to find that the door was now unlocked, which was when she "discovered" the money was missing. She phoned the manager, who told her to search everybody. The search was carried out with the supervisor present and a male member of staff (untrained in the stop and search policy I've read about) who conducted it. There is no CCTV on the premises. I spoke to the manager yesterday and asked him if he really thought for one second that he'd done it, then why hadn't he called the police, to which he replied that they wouldn't get involved as they had no CCTV.

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in what sense? do u mean defer the hearing it all depends on what his company guidlines are but i would suggest that 5-7 days is appropriate to defer a disaplinary to gain suffecient evidence eg witness's etc, ur son needs to be made aware that his company need to show that a thourough investigation has been carried out by his employers ie there own witness statements and proof

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I mean that, if we ask for the meeting to be suspended due to getting the evidence, do they have to take into account that my son is unavailable for a meeting due to a pre-booked holiday, then are those four days included in the 5-7 days that we may/may not get to prepare??

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if no money has been found on anybodies persons and no one has left the premises than im afraid its all hearsay, a thorough search has been carried out and nothing has been found did you say only ur son was searched? who has access to this room u say it is a glass jar so these must be tips! unfortunately as the day has now gone to prove it was another member of staff via a search but it works both ways they cant prove it was him, so he would have grounds for victimisation/discrimination. there is a possibilty they no they cant disapline him for mising money and are going down the lines of using his mobile in work time(obviously within the company guidlines this is a no no and restricted to meal breaks) im assuming ur son had a dicky tummy that day;)

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just spoke to my OH (union rep) and he reckons he can take as much reasonable time to defer disaplinary to gather information evidence and witness satements, if he goes today with a written letter stating the day that he wishes for this disaplinary to take place saying his representative (you) is not available untill ??? that is sufficient, and it is to be deffered until then, stand up to these bullies adn no ur rights they dont have any grounds, and in no way has a full investigation been carried out by his employers in that short space of time

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As far as I am aware, only the chefs and the floor staff have reason to be near the office. My son was on the dishwash at the time, so had no reason to be there. The toilets are at the opposite end of the restaurant to the office. He didn't have his phone on his person at all on the day, and the reason he went to the toilet a lot is that he only has one kidney, which it states on the application form he filled in, so he needs to go to the toilet more often that some people

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He was searched three times and no money was found. He was accused of using his mobile 'phone, but it was not on him.

The first question at the meeting is exactly what the disciplinary offence is.

 

If he is accused of stealing ask for proof, including the missing money, otherwise you could construe this as harrasment,slander and bullying.

 

Take the intitiative at the meeting and go straight in with the above questions/statements, but of course be polite, but firm.

 

If the meeting is postponed how will this help? What evidence do you hope to gather, bearing in mind you can't prove he didn't do it, in the same way the company cannot prove he did..

 

Is it part of a chain, or an independent restaurant.

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No, he's not. He was only born with the one kidney, but the government said he wasn't disabled enough when he was little, so we never bothered asking again, so no, he doesn't receive any benefits either.

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well if the company were aware of his health implications when they employed him they cannot deny ur son reasonable visits to the toilet given his condition. have u decieded to defer or attend etc like a previous cag said there is no evidence to suggest that he did it, but like i said earlier a thorough investigation needs to be done as to the whys and the wherefores, may i suggest when u go today ask for the companies guidelines for grievance proceedures, and how he should set the wheels in motion for this grievance against his employers regarding his treatment , hit them from all angles i think you have a strong case and enough to sock to them

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I haven't decided yet as I'm at work until 2pm and I've got to discuss all of the options with my son first because it has to be his decision ultimately, but I appreciate all of the advice that everyone has given :-)

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