Should the employee be removed from the work area during the investigation?

In most circumstances, it is not necessary to do so. However, in some situations it may be appropriate for the accused employee to be away from the work location during the investigation. In determining whether to leave the accused employee in the work area, assign them to work at home, or to assign them to another location/set of duties, the following should be considered:

  • Could the accused hinder the investigation by corrupting data or removing/destroying other evidence?
  • Could the accused cause further harm if left in their current position? (e.g., a Social Worker accused of inappropriate behavior with a child)
  • Is the accused a potential danger to others?
  • Are there other governing agency requirements? (e.g., State requirement to remove a health care employee accused of abuse)
  • Has the employee made statements or exhibited behavior which disrupts operations, impacts the public, or adversely impacts coworkers’ ability to perform their jobs?

In determining whether to assign an employee to work at a different location is appropriate, you should consider, in addition to the above criteria, the following factors:

  • The employee’s length of service and work history – Is there any history of dishonesty, theft, violent or aggressive behavior, or a tendency to be disruptive?
  • The employee’s behavior and conduct when confronted and interviewed about the conduct leading to the investigation – Was the employee cooperative, composed and calm during the interview or did he/she become angry, loud, and defensive?

Contact Employee & Labor Relations or County Counsel for assistance in determining if an “Assignment to Work at an Alternate Location” is appropriate in this situation. If so, the employee’s timecard will be coded as 001 while he/she is on this assignment. Please see sample Assignment to Work at an Alternate Location letter.