I am sitting down to write removal charges for an alleged inappropriate staff/patient relationship. As you can probably appreciate, there is a lot of emotion surrounding this. While the clinicians are up in arms (rightfully so) about the impropriety of it all, there is also lot of speculation, assumptions and presumptions made about what might have occurred.
So, what's a HR Manager and her staff to do? Well, we put the "Tina Turner" test to use.
As we review the papers, facts and actual evidence we can touch, we put aside the emotions and ask ourselves, minus the singing and dancing , "what's that got to do with it." (Or in this case we really can ask, "what's love got to do with it!") We need to get to the bottom line, we need to get at, in a word or two, what was wrong with what allegedly occurred. And then we sit down to write the charges. We will be held to proving every element of the charge we select. That the employee could have been charged with other things is completely irrelevant unless we bring them to the table. The way the charge is written, the way the charge is labeled, is of great significance because that charge, and not something else, must be proven.
The process to get there is iterative; it is full of starts and full stops and, at times, complete turnarounds. It is the process necessary to get at the heart of what occurred, or not. Frankly, sometimes having gone through this, we find that no matter how much a supervisor may not like what occurred, there is not enough to sustain a charge. At the end of the process, you know the case inside and out and you know the strengths and weaknesses. While I'd like to be able to say there will be no surprises, I can't, but I can say that they will be few and far between.
So, "what's that got to do with it?" Absolutely everything if you want your charges to be solid and, really more importantly, if you want your charges to be of merit.