It has become a general policy in the modern workplace that when a new employee is initialized with a company they are given an employee handbook or a set of company policies and guidelines to be followed. In many instances employees are required to familiarize themselves with the company's policy and are also required to sign some sort of agreement stating that they understand and will abide by the company's policies or guidelines. Many companies maintain strict policies that dictate employees be terminated or reprimanded for violation of company policy in regards to more severe areas of conduct such as, theft, assault, harassment or sexual misconduct. Although it would seem that with the prevalence of so many places of employment enforcing strict sexual harassment policies it would be hard to find in the average workplace, but most people can agree that it still happens in millions of workplaces everyday.
Often times company policies or guidelines are set up to safeguard the well fare of employees, while other policies are in place to protect the well fare and integrity of the business who created them. For example a company might have policy in place that prohibits the possession of a fire arm on its' premises even if the state it operates in has concealed carry laws in effect. The company may intend to help keep any of its' employees from feeling scared or threatened by the presence of a firearm as well to help mitigate any potential for an accidental discharge of a weapon that could result in damage to company property or in the worst case scenario causing injury or death to an employee(s) or even customer(s). Although businesses have an inherent and altruistic reason to protect their employees or customers from harm or distress, they also have an equally important duty to protecting the interests of their business from potential misfortune.
All too often businesses have the foresight to follow standard practice by creating guidelines and policies that protect their employees and customers from harm or distress but they fail to strictly enforce them and ultimately put themselves at risk for liabilities that involve litigation and could potentially cause financial disaster to themselves. Imagine for a minute that a hospital is being sued for malpractice because one of their surgeons amputated the wrong leg of a patient. It turns out through court proceedings that the doctor was a functioning alcoholic and had dodged disciplinary action for years. Internal memos and emails uncover that in several instances employees had expressed concern over the emotional state of the doctor and in another instance a fellow peer of the doctor had reported that he suspected the doctor in question had shown up for a surgery under the influence of alcohol. The proceedings revealed that the hospital was negligent since they didn't pursue disciplinary action or require the doctor to seek professional help for their addiction before returning to work. In this instance an internal audit of employee compliance with company guidelines may have produced some red flags in regards to the doctor.
Although the previous example is hypothetical, it is completely plausible that something like that could or already has happened. Recently Kansas City has been shaken up by a headlines that originate in Branson, MO but hit close to home and could effect some of our metro area's weakest and most defenseless citizens. Kansas City families have been sending generations of their children to Branson, MO based Christian sports camp Kanakuk Kamps, along with 1000's of regional area children. The camp and more specifically one of its' former directors Peter Newman, have been in the spotlight for a series of lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct with young campers, along with serving time for sexually abusing multiple young boys. According to the Kansas City Star newspaper, "The lawsuits allege camp officials knew about the man’s troubling behavior, including swimming and riding four-wheelers in the nude with campers, but failed to remove him or keep him away from children." The camp is currently not speaking about the pending lawsuits but has since created a Child Protection Plan which involves criminal background checks on its' employees as well as mandatory sexual abuse prevention training. It is unclear what sort of policies and guidelines existed during the span of the time frame the lawsuits cover but it is probably safe to assume that naked horse back riding with children was most likely not a sanctioned activity.
Kanakuk Kamps have now suffered an immeasurable amount of financial damage, with more lawsuits likely to materialize, as well as having suffered a devastating blow to its' public image. For the benefit of the doubt, let's assume that the camp had a failure in its bureaucratic structure which caused possible red flags to go unnoticed as opposed to it willfully ignoring the signs of potentially disturbing events such as the naked horseback riding of director Peter Newman. The camp most likely had policies in place which protected the well being of the children it was entrusted to protect. Whether it followed or enforced those policies remains to be seen in the outcome of the pending lawsuits but regardless of the outcome of the events, the damage to the integrity of the company has been done.
How can businesses in Kansas City make sure to mitigate liability and damages potentially caused by employees not following company policy or guidelines? One simple solution is to have a code of conduct compliance audit performed by licensed Kansas City private investigator Doug Pearson of Act Now Investigations. Doug has over 20+ years experience dealing with cases from missing persons to medical fraud. Hiring Kansas City private investigator Doug Pearson is a powerful way to gain insights into complex areas of human resources. Doug can utilize many of his techniques to help uncover areas of risk that may have been previously unseen for an employer. Holding employees accountable for the policies they've agreed to abide by, is a great way to ensure your business is providing a safe and emotionally healthy environment for workers and customers. Would you like to follow up on some claims of sexual harassment in the cafeteria? Is the employee who is consistently submitting paperwork without following company guidelines, trying to hide something bigger? Are you suspicious an employee might be supplying proprietary knowledge to a competitor? There are many reasons to hire Kansas City private investigator Doug Pearson to do a code of compliance audit within your company. Below are just a few examples of practical applications Doug's investigative services could be used for to help a business mitigate risk and enforce its' code of conduct.
- Intellectual Property Theft
- Sexual Harassment
- Drug Abuse
- Background Checks
For business insights and info keep in touch with your Kansas City blog.