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    • MrX92
    • By MrX92 13th Oct 16, 7:52 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 1Thanks
    MrX92
    Accused of Stealing from work
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 16, 7:52 PM
    Accused of Stealing from work 13th Oct 16 at 7:52 PM
    Hi Guys
    Having an absolute nightmare with my current employer.
    I have worked there for around 10 years, and never had any issues with them until November of 2015 when a new management team was brought in.

    I was given a promotion but received no guidance, training, or support.

    Over the last year, I have been constantly undermined by other departments and it has resulted in me working long days.

    I have raised on several occasions with my line manager the fact that I need help and need my role enforcing. All which have been ignored.

    I had my appraisal last week and I advised my line manager that I was not happy. He requested my resignation from the role which I declined. The meeting was going no-where and it ended with him accusing me of threatening him, which I deny. He also has no witnesses.

    I went to see HR directly after for a chat, when he walked in. I asked him if we could resolve the issue between us as I felt we could. He insisted that it was too late.
    I left the office and he came to see me when I advised that we were going to have a clearing of the air tomorrow at 3pm. I went to see HR to confirm, and they advised that it was just informal chat to see if we could work things out. Mind at rest......

    Or so I thought,

    The following day, both HR and my line manager walked out of HR office together.
    There was no mediation, I was just handed a settlement agreement to leave the company or face disciplinary for a threat made to my line manager. I tried to speak but the meeting was closed down.

    I went direct to a solicitor and took legal advice, we negotiated the settlement for a reference and more money, and to be honest I was just relieved to be getting out.

    A full week has now passed and I was due to sign the agreement today when I received a call from my solicitor that I am being accused of taking company box files on the Wednesday night.

    Back to Wednesday, As I had been away from my desk for several hours my duties for the day had not been done and customers were expecting deliveries the following day. All couriers had been and gone, so as I would normally do if a job was urgent and we missed the cut off I would take the boxes direct to the depot.

    So I reversed my car from the car park into the "goods in" entrance in front of the shutter doors. Then I loaded my car and went straight to the depot

    I can verify this as a sales rep came to see me after 4pm as she had a job that needed delivering the following day without fail. I advised her that I was going to the depot to drop off so would make sure it would be delivered.

    Delivery note files were put in the general office recently (before this) and all delivery notes where being put in there at the end of the day.

    At the time (Wednesday evening) I was not leaving the business and had no idea that I would be leaving the following day. At that point I still had a job to do so had no motive for taking the files.

    I have again checked and had it confirmed that there are only two CCTV camera's, none of which focus direct on goods in.

    They can only see my car reverse from the car park into goods in,

    They cannot see exactly what items are going into my car.

    They have no proof that I have taken anything other than parcels

    They mentioned me taking box files, I left site with customer items that were packed in boxes.

    If they had actual CCTV footage they would have seen me loading parcels, no loose box files as they are claiming.

    Also if they had 100% pure evidence my line manager wouldn't be advising that he is going to go back and check the office.

    Thing that puzzles me the most is they called me on Friday to ask the whereabouts of the files. I told them where they were and asked them to call me if they didn't find them

    I have heard nothing back until today so I assumed they were found, a full week later and they have now raised this.

    The files in question were not under lock and key. Several different people use them.

    As stated I had no cause or motive to take the files as on Wednesday to my knowledge I wasn't leaving the business and had a "mediation" meeting planned the following day.

    I was walked off site by my line manager on Thursday so had no opportunities to take any company property.

    I put the files in the General Office as requested and a full week has since passed/nearly two weeks since the files were put in the office.

    Ever since I have been putting the originals in the general office once they were booked in, if I had the files in my office surely I would have been putting them into the files rather than keeping them loose and handing them in at the end of day.

    Feeling extremely upset and anxious about this.

    Just want to get this settlement agreement signed and put this behind me.

    I have spoken with the depot who can confirm that I was at the depot last Wednesday evening night to drop off.

    They have provided me with CCTV proving my story, which as been forwarded on.

    My line manager is now saying he has a witness who has made a statement claiming I took more than boxes.

    Which is complete nonsense as I was alone, 100%.

    It is strange that this morning they had CCTV evidence of me taking files, but are only now mentioning a witness?

    I thought this was done and dusted, was just waiting for the paperwork to sign.

    They are now refusing to progress my settlement until they are satisfied.

    My line manager is putting together evidence, but without CCTV and a cast eye witness surely it is all circumstantial?

    Also with me having proof of me delivering boxes surely helps my case?

    Thanks in advance
Page 1
    • whitewing
    • By whitewing 13th Oct 16, 8:12 PM
    • 11,305 Posts
    • 47,386 Thanks
    whitewing
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:12 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:12 PM
    If you didn't take it, then perhaps the "witness" did.
    When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of "Me too!" be sure to cherish them. Because these weirdos are your true family.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 13th Oct 16, 8:14 PM
    • 2,735 Posts
    • 4,278 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:14 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:14 PM
    Sorry. I am utterly confused. You allegedly stole box files. Full of something or empty? You moved them somewhere. Why? And if you moved them somewhere, then they are presumably still there? And your witness - they saw you place these boxes somewhere and leave them there (seeing you at the dept not being the same thing as confirming you did put them there)?

    An employer is not a court of law. They do not need cast iron evidence of something. They only need reasonable belief. That is very different. But if they say that they will not proceed with the settlement agreement until they are satisfied on this matter, then there is nothing you can do about that, I'm afraid.
    • MrX92
    • By MrX92 13th Oct 16, 8:27 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MrX92
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:27 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:27 PM
    Hi

    Boxes had delivery notes in them. Two in total.

    It was agreed that I would put the files into the general office which I did the week before last. No one has said anything and I have continued to put the loose notes into the office at the end of the day.

    They are claiming that a witness saw me leaving site with box files

    I left with parcels only and have proof from the depot that I was there
    • MrX92
    • By MrX92 13th Oct 16, 8:30 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MrX92
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:30 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:30 PM
    Sorry meant to say that HR called me last Friday to say they couldn't find them, I've heard nothing since. I just assumed they had been found. I left them in the general office the week before last. I worked a full week, leaving loose delivery notes in the office. No one asked if I had them, when surely they would as they would have to file the loose notes. Like I said they are not private or confidential, anyone could have taken them.
    • MrX92
    • By MrX92 13th Oct 16, 8:46 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MrX92
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:46 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:46 PM
    Hi

    Solicitor is waiting for the official letter to come from my employer detailing their evidence to support their allegations.

    I had no idea at all that Wednesday was to be my last day. I had no reason to take files containing delivery notes. As far as I was concerned Thursday was just a mediation meeting. Which turned into a settlement agreement and me being placed on garden leave.
    • Mr.Generous
    • By Mr.Generous 13th Oct 16, 8:59 PM
    • 912 Posts
    • 1,116 Thanks
    Mr.Generous
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:59 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:59 PM
    Immediately request copies of the companies disciplinary policy and any managers guides to personnel matters or similar. Check they have robust policies and procedures in place, If they don't they will loose at an employment tribunal.

    Ok so they have such policies and procedures, have they followed them? Were you given the correct notice for a meeting? was the correct witness procedure followed including your right to be accompanied by a fellow employee or TU rep.
    Was correct note taking done? did you get a chance to read and sign the notes? were you given a copy? Did you get a chance to see the evidence against you? If witness statements were taken did they follow their own procedure for taking statements? Did they attempt to verify or disprove your version of events?

    An employer would prefer no breaches of procedure at all to fight in a tribunal, but might still defend a wrongful dismissal with 1 or 2 very minor breaches. In my experience companies cannot follow their own procedures properly, not even close.

    I had a false allegation made against me that came down to pretty much a customers word against mine. CCTV was inconclusive and poor quality. I was worried until I saw their case, seriously about a dozen breaches of procedure in the hearings and witness statements, leading questions, not providing correct notice, trying to tell me who I could have as a witness, no clear policy to follow in the event of an incident like i faced (nothing even close) etc.

    I almost wanted to get dismissed it was a certain win. They backed down. I also took the precaution of buying and using a voice activated Dictaphone for the meetings as I knew the notes would not be accurate. As luck would have it the manager conducting asked my witness to leave us alone and gave me an unofficial off the record talk about all the pressure he had been put under from above to sack me ... all recorded by me before he carried out his impartial and objective meeting to determine what action to take. employers can be toss pots! good luck.
    • MrX92
    • By MrX92 13th Oct 16, 9:17 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MrX92
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:17 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:17 PM
    Thank you for that reply!

    At present they haven't put in the official alleged misconduct.

    Line manager is saying that at the moment he is not satisfied with the explanination.

    But since I have had a depot confirm my story

    He said he would be writing to my solicitor in the morning advising what has been allegedly been taken, why, and what evidence they have to support the allegations
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 13th Oct 16, 10:36 PM
    • 2,735 Posts
    • 4,278 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 16, 10:36 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 16, 10:36 PM
    At this point in time there have been no meetings to give notice of, and there have been no procedures implemented, so they can't have got them wrong yet! And a wrongful dismissal is an entirely different thing than an unfair dismissal - massively different.

    AT this moment in time I think you need to be cautious of jumping the gun. They do not appear to have accused you of doing anything other than what you actually have done! You were, it appears, witnessed leaving the premises with some box files and "possibly some parcels" or some such thing. You say that you left the premises with some box files and whatever it was the rep who saw you dropped off that you said you would deliver to the depot. That seems suspiciously like exactly the same story to me!. And so far they seem to have done not a lot more than tell you that someone saw you doing exactly what you appear to have said you did?

    So if you took the boxes to the depot, they must be there, and there will presumably also be evidence that you handed over something else (the thing you took from the rep). I'll admit, I am slightly perplexed as to why a couple of box files with a couple of delivery notes in them required backing your car into the goods in entrance - was the other item(s) you were carrying particularly heavy or cumbersome, because I have little doubt that this odd behaviour will have done nothing to persuade your employers that something nefarious wasn't going on.

    But of the face of it, what they say and what you say doesn't appear to be a million miles apart, and frankly, I will find it remarkable if they plan to dismiss you for stealing a couple of empty box files at this point, when a tribunal will look at that rather askance considering the settlement agreement situation. It does, after all, seem to be an issue of a couple of box files with (next to) nothing in them. Although any amount of theft is still theft, and not to be condoned, we are talking about some items of next to no value - if they wanted to get out of the settlement agreement and convince a tribunal they weren't doing just that, then they'd really need to be looking at something of a little more value than a couple of used box files! The "conspiracy" here doesn't appear to have any merit as an explainable scenario - if they want to "fit you up" to get out of the agreement, then I'd expect it to be more like a couple of photocopiers!

    So I would suggest that you simply sit back and wait. If the boxes are found, then all is well. If they aren't, I still can't imagine they are going to take that sort of risk over a box file or two. Or even over a mysterious package that someone saw you with when there hasn't been anything reported as stolen. For all the witness knows, it could have been your laundry. And if nothing is missing, it may as well have been.
    • MrX92
    • By MrX92 14th Oct 16, 3:35 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MrX92
    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply.

    Been a bit of a whirlwind few days, I am saying that I have only taken parcels from site

    Regarding the box files, I put these in the general office well over a week ago and haven't seen them since.

    All I took that day was parcels, I reversed my car into goods in as they were heavy and it made more sense to reverse my car in rather than make a few trips back & forth.

    Since then I have managed to get confirmation from the depot that I was there delivering parcels and have provided me with cctv footage.

    This has been forwarded by my solicitor.


    What They are saying that they can't find the files in the office and they have a witness saying that I left site with them on Wednesday.

    Which is untrue, as I haven't seen the files since I put them into the general office a week or so back.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 14th Oct 16, 7:56 AM
    • 2,735 Posts
    • 4,278 Thanks
    sangie595
    Well you just need to sit and wait. AND, be aware that your legal bill is adding to every minute your lawyer does ANYTHING - and there is nothing they can usefully do on this matter right now. In other words, your settlement agreement is being eaten away, and OMG if the thought that just went through my mind is the case, your employers are the sneakiest, cunningest bunch of ****** I have ever encountered.

    Why are they talking to your solicitor about this? Your solicitor is only authorised to deal with a the basics of a settlement agreement with them, surely? That is, just read it, advise you of your rights and witness your signature? Because anything outside that basic package are new billable hours. You know that, right?

    And also, just hang on one minute. You should not be interfering with the investigation. That is a dismissable offence, potentially. You should not be speaking anyone about this investigation, and don't have neither the authority or right to ask for CCTV footage that belongs to your employers (unless that was through them giving it to your solicitor when the solicitor asked). You could now be accused of tampering with witnesses and intimidating them!

    I'm sorry, I should have thought of this last night but I wasn't thinking straight - something happened during the day that left me very drained - I should have thought of this straight away. Not that it would have stopped you doing anything anyway, as it was already done.

    Nevertheless, that doesn't change anything - there is nothing you can do unless and until they decide to bring allegations, and you are still wasting your money if you continue to involve a solicitor. They are not going to be able to do anything that you cannot do yourself. Except bill you. And you need to check what you have authorised the solicitor to do on your behalf and whether they are now billing you for additional work.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 14th Oct 16, 9:38 AM
    • 14,341 Posts
    • 36,505 Thanks
    FBaby
    I had no reason to take files containing delivery notes. As far as I was concerned Thursday was just a mediation meeting. Which turned into a settlement agreement and me being placed on garden leave.
    You mention this a few times in your messages. My advice would be to ignore this as an argument in your favour. The reality is that considering what had been going on up to this point, it wouldn't have been unreasonable for you to assume that dismissal was on the cards shortly since you acknowledge that your manager asked you to resign a few days before. It might sound ridiculous to you, but you could have indeed planned to steal these files in advance of a potential dismissal.

    What is unclear is what motive if at all, do they think would have prompted you do this? To gain customers' information, therefore property of the company?
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 14th Oct 16, 9:58 AM
    • 2,735 Posts
    • 4,278 Thanks
    sangie595
    You mention this a few times in your messages. My advice would be to ignore this as an argument in your favour. The reality is that considering what had been going on up to this point, it wouldn't have been unreasonable for you to assume that dismissal was on the cards shortly since you acknowledge that your manager asked you to resign a few days before. It might sound ridiculous to you, but you could have indeed planned to steal these files in advance of a potential dismissal.

    What is unclear is what motive if at all, do they think would have prompted you do this? To gain customers' information, therefore property of the company?
    Originally posted by FBaby
    I agree. Plus, at a very basic level, there is nothing that proves you don't make a habit of stealing stationary from work and this was the time you got caught. "Why would I?" is always a lousy defence! I have never understood what motivates people to steal basic stationary items from work that cost next to nothing at the local supermarket - but I can attest to the fact that they do!
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