Sit for a polygraph test.
Sounds incredibly simplistic, but it works – in this case to the benefit of two individuals wrongly implicated in a theft, and to the detriment of the ex-colleague who implicated them.
Please note that names and certain non-essential details regarding the case below have been omitted or changed to protect the identity of our client and their employees.
In the matter of…
Earlier this year we received a call from the HR department of a well-known construction company. They had, we were told, obtained a confession from one of their then employees regarding the theft of building supplies and equipment. However in his confession the individual implicated two colleagues in the theft – accusations which they strongly denied.
A polygraph test was requested by the company to determine whether all three individuals presented valid lines of investigation.
The individual who implicated his two colleagues refused to sit for the polygraph test, while the other two agreed.
During the polygraph test each individual was asked:
- Did you steal anything from your employer?
- Did you steal building supplies from your employer?, and
- Did you help anyone steal building supplies from your employer?
Needless to say both individuals passed their respective polygraph tests. That is, no deception was indicated.
Benefit to the company
One may argue that the above seems a natural course of action. But if you take a minute to imagine a scenario where polygraph testing hadn’t been requested and the two wrongly implicated gentlemen had to find other means of clearing their name, the results may have been quite different.
Possible outcomes of alternative scenario in which polygraph testing wasn’t requested:
- More internal resources would have been spent investigating the matter, resulting in greater cost to the company.
- The possible loss of two honest employees as a result of wrongful accusations and/or possible legal action against the company
- Possible reduction in productivity as a result of injured workforce morale and/or fear of wrongful accusations among other employees
Actual benefits to the company
- Minimal financial and resource expenditure with equal or better results
- The retention of two honest employees and no subsequent legal action
- Sustained integrity of workforce morale
- Better employee protection against unfair treatment
Needless to say both of the implicated employees returned to work as per usual. Where polygraph testing proved their innocence regarding accusations of theft, it’s also regularly used to clear the names of individuals suspected of infidelity and domestic abuse. Or to warrant further investigation against them… if they fail.