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Help Please

By thetuckers_jersey ·
We have had a long established practice of IT professionals being provided with PC's for Home/Personal use, in the knowledge that it would benefit the organisation in them keeping up with trends, investigating new systems and learning upcoming operating and system releases in their own, unpaid time.

A change of management is now alleging that what has been done constitutes 'missappropriation of the organisations assets' and three long standing IT professionals have been suspended awaiting a disciplinary.

I would be grateful if anyone has seen any white papers or case studies that would back up the beneficial evidence of this practice as I believe it is fairly common amongst the industry.

Thanks for any assistance or help that you can provide.

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Get a lawyer pronto!

by DC_GUY In reply to Help Please

If you're talking about the people who took the PCs home with company approval, the new management doesn't have a leg to stand on. They were complying with the company rules at the time. All they can do is tell them to bring the PCs back to the office. If the managers think they have the power to to anything more, the HR staff can set them straight. If HR is too lame, then an attorney can do it pretty cheap; it's a slam dunk.

If you're talking about the people who implemented the policy, that's another story. First they should talk to the company's HR staff to keep the new management honest. If that doesn't get them anywhere they need an attorney.

The bottom line is that if the new management wants to dismiss these people because they don't like their attitude, there's nothing much that can be done to dissuade them. However, this cannot be ruled as dismissal "for cause," which means failing to perform their duties or breaking company rules. It can only be ruled as dismissal "at will," which means they are entitled to the standard severance procedure, notice, and pay, including nothing in their record to imply that they did anything wrong.

I repeat: you've got a legal problem, so you need a lawyer.

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Show the approval

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Help Please

When this policy was initiated someone had to either write a policy document or memorandum where it was approved by someone in management. Or there may even be documentation on the issue of the equipment where a manager signed off on it. The documents approving the purchase may even state exactly what they were being bought for, thus showing management approval for their use.

This paperwork will rpove that the individuals did NOT misuse the equipment, the manager who approved it may be subject to action depending upon his areas of responsibility and authority.
The staff would even be covered by an appropriate manager writting a letter stating that this was standard company policy under the old managment and that she/he had approved the issue of the equipment.

With any managerial documentation giving approval the new guys can only say the policy has changed bring the gear back.

BTW I don't know how it is in the USA but here in Australia the use of corporate desktops at home has never been an industry approved procedure. It has been a standard policy that IT professionals are encouraged to buy laptops the same as the company, and the company subsidises the purchase a bit; of if at managerial level or work requires a lot of off site or at home work then the company issues as laptop for use at work and elsewhere for corporate purposes only. Some companies and govt bodies get large multi site software licences that allows the employees to take a copy of the software home and put it on and use on their own home computers whilst they are employed; the reasoning behind this is that the staff get more familiar with the software and thus more efficient with it. This may be what you are thinking of.

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