I recently sat down with a reporter from Compliance Week to discuss the implications of Gilman v. Marsh & McLennan, a recent federal appeals court ruling affirming that companies have cause to terminate employees who refuse to cooperate in internal investigations. As I wrote in June, the decision is significant to any company that faces allegations of corporate misconduct and seeks cooperation in a government or internal investigation.
In the article, I pointed out that employers must distinguish between the personal rights of employees and their obligations to the company. The Gilman decision confirms that in many cases, including harassment investigations or other investigations of workplace misconduct, an employee’s refusal to cooperate in an internal investigation will constitute a valid cause for termination. This decision serves as a reminder to have language in the Code of Conduct, employment contracts for senior executives and corporate bylaws about the company’s internal investigation policy. “It’s essential to have those written policies. If you don’t have it in your policies, it’s going to be hard to require the cooperation that you need.”
The full article can be found here.