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Under investigation at work

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Transform_IT, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. Transform_IT

    Gangster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2012

    Posts: 199

    Guys,

    Advice needed, please. Went on a retirement doo for my old boss, we were talking about an ex employee that was fired 3 years ago for gross misconduct. At that time and after copious amounts of alcohol, we began to read through the barrage of abusive texts he had sent us through WhatsApp. One of my colleagues drunkenly grabbed the phone to read and accidentally knocked the camera button to take a selfie. When handing it back, rather than discarding the taken selfie, it was accidentally sent. It happened so quickly and was like something out of an American Pie film, it sounds and felt so far fetched. We never thought much about it as WhatsApp popped up with an encryption message and we assumed the individual was blocked, meaning the photo couldn't be sent. The following day, I received a barrage of abusive texts and missed calls from the individual. I immediately checked if they were blocked, which they weren't and I made sure they were.

    I spoke with the union who said to leave it as the photo wasn't abusive and they are no longer employed by the company. 3 weeks later, HR are now investigating the matter due to the individual complaining to the company. The investigation is tomorrow, but I am wondering where I stand with this?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks,

    T_IT
     
  2. tom_e

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 26, 2003

    Posts: 26,214

    Location: West mids

    by selfie do you mean screenshot?
     
  3. AHarvey

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Mar 6, 2008

    Posts: 9,427

    Location: Stoke area

    What's this got to do with work?

    If the ex-employee had messaged your private whatsapp/texts and you've responded from that is a personal matter, nothing to do with work.
     
  4. LiE

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 2, 2005

    Posts: 18,454

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Damn you know you can delete messages sent on WhatsApp?
     
  5. Raymond Lin

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: Oct 20, 2002

    Posts: 62,938

    Location: Wish i was in New York

    Why would a selfie in WhatsApp taken outside work got anything to do with work? It's hardly uncommon.
     
  6. Rifte

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 17, 2010

    Posts: 2,702

    Location: Somewhere in Asia

    I think you can only delete from the receivers phone within a certain time limit?

    By the sounds of it, he passed out drunk assuming it had not been sent, but woke up to find it had.
     
  7. VincentHanna

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 30, 2013

    Posts: 17,809

    I don't understand

    What was it a selfie of? Or do you mean somebody accidentally pressed two buttons which took a screen shot of the abusive messages the guy originally fired had sent? And then sent it back to him?

    Why would that be cause for complaint.
     
  8. krooton

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 9, 2004

    Posts: 24,760

    Location: Leafy outskirts of London

    Maybe it was sent from a work phone? Then you'd be in deep letterbox.
     
  9. cheesyboy

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 7, 2012

    Posts: 11,239

    Location: Gloucestershire

    You'll be fine, just keep it to the truth. It also will help your case, if there was any aggro, if the drinks were paid by work - it's their fault you were too ****** to use your fingers properly.
     
  10. Yas786

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 46,246

    Location: All over the world...

    Yeh only for a few mins before it only deletes for you and no one else.
     
  11. stoofa

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 4, 2003

    Posts: 11,600

    Location: Chatteris

    I'm assuming the very same "It was works fault for buying us drinks" would be a valid defence if someone had been stopped for drink driving on the way home from said event too?
     
  12. peterwalkley

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 23, 2009

    Posts: 3,032

    Location: South Wirral

    Does sound remarkably like the fired person is stirring up the poo just to cause trouble, but you don't know exactly what they have said in their complaint.

    Attend the meeting with your union rep - under no circumstances do it on your own. Hopefully HR realise this is all spherical objects and are just going through the motions to be able to say they have investigated, but until you know for sure, assume the worst and protect yourself.
     
  13. BowdonUK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,141

    The picture doesn't sound abusive or anything like that from what you've said.

    Is a works do considered being at work?

    I don't see how there is a case to answer.
     
  14. Rifte

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 17, 2010

    Posts: 2,702

    Location: Somewhere in Asia

    Yeah I agree with this, unless the message was bringing the company's name into disrepute, then I assume that HR are just ticking a few boxes so they can say :

    ' Yeah....we looked into it'
     
  15. cheesyboy

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 7, 2012

    Posts: 11,239

    Location: Gloucestershire

    I think they might struggle to sack you for it. A former workplace of mine had an employee sucker-punch one of the owners on a works party. They had to pay him off to leave, rather than sacking, after taking legal advice.
     
  16. NickK

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 13, 2003

    Posts: 17,815

    Sounds like it was the work colleague stealing your personal phone and sending photos to your personal contacts.

    The work colleague should know better than abuse people's phones.

    The company is covering it's back given that the ex-colleague could use it to take legal against the company due to new 'evidence'.

    Just stick to the truth - indicate that it was a work colleague that stole your personal phone and sent it. Have a pre-discussion with your rep and have your rep there.
     
  17. VincentHanna

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 30, 2013

    Posts: 17,809

    The rules are a bit weird for events that the company were involved with.

    Years ago my dad was director of a company and put on a Christmas work do for staff. Drinks were paid for up to a point, but the party ended and management went home. A few staff members decided to stay out, but later there was a fight between two staff members at a cab rank (about 4 hours after it had finished)

    But the staff member sued the company, and somehow the company still ended up liable!
     
  18. AHarvey

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Mar 6, 2008

    Posts: 9,427

    Location: Stoke area

    Technically you always represent your employer even when you're not at work, but if the op had received abusive messages from the person in the first and received either a selfie or a screenshot of the messages that it's very much a personal issue.
     
  19. Raymond Lin

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: Oct 20, 2002

    Posts: 62,938

    Location: Wish i was in New York

    I can't see how it is abusive for that person to re-read a message that he sent himself be abusive...is he offended by something he has written?
     
  20. robinbanks

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 18, 2012

    Posts: 231

    Location: witney

    So a work colleague accidentally sent a inoffensive photo to him? If it's your personal phone I fail to see why you are under investigation. If it's work phone and you've been told to keep the contents confidential I still fail to see what they can do. I mean technically you could argue it was pocket sent. Seems rather odd for them to react over.