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Prior to warning or discharging an employee the employee should always be given opportunity to respond to allegations of miss-doings. If the employee is denying any wrong doing and the employer has evidence (video, emails, pictures, etc.) to the contrary it is generally good practice to inform the employee of the evidence and allow the employee an opportunity to see the evidence. There may be occasions when the termination is based on other employee statements and it is not proper to disclose who provided the information or show statements made by other employees.

Example Case – A nurse, who had been warned on multiple occasions for not following standard practice on administration of medications, is being questioned concerning improper administration of medication. The policy requires that at the time of medication delivery the nurse must scan the patient armband and then scan the medication as a check and balance. In this case the nurse was scanning all patient meds at one time in the med room and when she was in the patient’s room she would only scan the patient’s armband. The electronic patient record shows the times of both the medication scan and the armband scan so it was evident what was occurring. Additionally, there was video evidence showing the nurse in the medication room at the time all patient medications were scanned.

The nurse was confronted and denied violating the procedures and repeatedly stated the meds and armbands were scanned at the same time while in the patient’s room. The nurse was not presented the evidence nor was she questioned as to why the electronic records and security video contradicted her statement. 

Subsequent to the termination the nurse filed for unemployment and has appealed the disqualification. If the ex-employee had been provided the opportunity to see the evidence generally they will admit their violation or at a minimum will not aggressively pursue unemployment and/or other legal avenues.

Please feel free to share the SMART – HR Tip with anyone that may find benefit.

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