Can my Boss prohibit me from talking to a colleague whos suspended?

#1
Basically my question is in the thread title.
Arrived in work to find my mate has been suspended (No idea what the allegations are, Boss isn't saying so need to speak to the lad concerned), area manager then informed us no one is to talk to him until his investigation was completed.
Can my boss do this? I have worked with my mate for three years but known him as a friend for eight years.
Can I tell my boss he's over stepped his authority?
 
#2
Arrived in work to find my mate has been suspended (No idea what the allegations are, Boss isn't saying so need to speak to the lad concerned), area manager then informed us no one is to talk to him until his investigation was completed.
Can my boss do this? I have worked with my mate for three years but known him as a friend for eight years.
Can I tell my boss he's over stepped his authority?
Prohibit? No. Could it be a disciplinary offence to ignore him? Yes - in fact, almost certainly.

Boss shouldn't tell you what the allegations are (DPA98 s2(g)).

Your employer has no right to deny your freedom of association (ECHR Article 11) but, unless they are the govt, they aren't actually legally bound not to discriminate against you for employing it.

It could have probably been worded better - xxx is suspended while we investigate a complaint. Please don't ... otherwise we may have to take disciplinary action .. regardless of whether they are ...
 
#4
Can't stop you bumping into him in the street and him spilling (spinning?) the story.

msr
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
If he's a friend of yours and you regularly see each other outside of work, then you can carry on.

What the specific reason of the ruling at work is for is that you do not discuss any work-related issues, specifically, why he's been suspended.

Usually in situations like this, it's for theft or fraud.
 
#6
A good starting point might be what you do and what your diciplinary code says? If you are unionised a good port of call is your local rep. The cynic in me says how will your boss know?
 
#7
Sounds like a complaint has been made against your colleague about something, and the boss wants to get people's stories investigated before taking any further action.

Rather than risk having the integrity of those accounts be compromised, he's asked people to not talk to the suspended employee in the meantime.

Whilst I understand the reasoning behind it, I think it's impossible for him to actually prevent you talking to someone, however, in a desperate arse covering exercise by your mate at some hypothetical future date, your buddy could spill that you got in contact. This could have nasty repurcussions not necessarily from a disciplinary perspective for yourself but from the viewpoint that your boss now thinks (rightly in this instance) that you can't be trusted to act like an adult and let him continue with the standard investigation.

I'd shy away to cover my own arse for now, it's probably only a short period of time anyway. If you do bump into him/her/it socially try to steer away from work conversations. Bring up football for example 'don't you think man city are great now, i'm going to start supporting them' is always a good way to get a loud and angry response that will be unrelated to work activities :D
 
#8
Cheers guys, its been let slip that its a "Very Serious" allegation by the female cleaners. Police may be coming involved and my mate has disappeared. His wife is going mental and had no idea he had been suspended. So if I do bump into him I'll set my phone recording to cover myself.
A couple of us at work are looking for him to make sure hes ok. Boss has been told and agreed we can try and find him as his wife and kid are now involved.
Thanks for your input.
 
#9
Cheers guys, its been let slip that its a "Very Serious" allegation by the female cleaners. Police may be coming involved and my mate has disappeared. His wife is going mental and had no idea he had been suspended. So if I do bump into him I'll set my phone recording to cover myself.
A couple of us at work are looking for him to make sure hes ok. Boss has been told and agreed we can try and find him as his wife and kid are now involved.
Thanks for your input.
Make sure the storm drains are your first port of call.
 
#10
Lobster being as he's an emotionally retarded Steroid abuser the thought had crossed my mind, but he's turned up at his Mothers. ( The fooking big Jessy)
 
#12
Lobster being as he's an emotionally retarded Steroid abuser the thought had crossed my mind, but he's turned up at his Mothers. ( The fooking big Jessy)
Glad that he's shown up. My views about keeping at a slightly discrete distance still stand though, particularly in light of the words 'serious' and 'police' used in your recent post. Whenever plod gets involved because of something that's happened at work it's normally a good time to give gentle support but cover your arse. Good luck with it.
 
#13
If he is a good friend become his 'McKenzieman' (work place collegue) and assist and support him with his work problems, i.e. collect from your employers on his behalf copies of the terms and conditions of employment, rule book etc.

Your employer can not prevent you from doing this and are in breech of employment law if they try. (Remember your friend is innocent of any criminal offence until proved guilty in a court of law).

If your friend is dismissed for an alleged work place incident then he has the right to appeal via the company disciplinary rules/employment law and may be able to take the matter to the Employment Tribunial, seek advice from a solicitor or CAB now.

Both of you keep a records of incidents where the management have made threat, given warning to not to communicate etc, as it can be useful if your friend goes to the Employment Tribinial later.

The reference to a Police investigation is sometimes used by management as a bluff to make the alledged problem sound worse than it really is and to prevent members of the work force becoming involved and supporting him.

Advise your friend to have legal representation at all times he speaks to the Police, and advise him to have a work place collegue (i.e. you or a trade union rep etc) present taking notes when ever he speaks to management concerning this problem. Tell him to keep a detailed log of events.

One of the questions I would be asking is why does the cleaner know of the details etc? who told her etc? All employment disclipinary investigations should be confidenial.

If you do support you friend in this way be advised you may not be popular with the management. I know from first hand experience.
 
#14
DB216LOKDVR its the cleaners that have made the allegation against my colleague. I found that out by accidently(cough) reveiwing the office cctv which has sound. Supposed to be turned off for confidential meetings. Or that section of footage can be put into a secured folder on the hardrive to prevent nosey bastards (I'm one I know got a t-shirt saying let me see I'm a nosey bastard) from seeing it.
I accidently (cough) found it while checking the door access logs against the camera footage, a routine check. Not my fault if the boss is too thick to follow the rules. On realising what it was I bookmarked it and emailed the boss so he can secure it when he returns on Tuesday.
Still don't know exactly what the allegation are though.
 
#16
Your friend should have been told of the reason why he was suspended from duty and it is normal to be given this in writing.

From past experiences;

I.E. You (insert name) are suspended from duty from/immediately due to (alleged) breech of company terms of conditions of employment (Rule/Section/Para etc) or pending a Police Investigation for (alleged) offence i.e. theft, assault etc,

In that you (allegedly) did;.................................. etc

You are required to contact/attend/report ............. each Friday Morning at **** hour.

You are not to contact ................. etc.

A copy of the company rules book, terms and conditions of employment, disciplinary code etc are included with this order.

Instruction of how to appeal about the suspension are sometimes included here or the relevent paragraph in the company rules etc

Some times you may receive guidance to contact your trade union etc, sometimes not.

Sometimes more info is included relevent to the suspension.



If your friend has not received a written reason for suspension then I would urge him to go to his Trade Union, CAB or an Employment Law Solicitor.

If the matter is a serious offence with a Police Investigation then he must go to a Solicitor (or Trade Union who will nominate a Solicitor) and seek advice. (Some Solicitors offer a free 15 minute to half an hour consultation some times known as Union law or similar).

It would appear that the case against your colleague is being weaken by the lack of confidentially on the accusers/management part.

This information would be useful for your friend (or legal advisors) to prepare his defence.

Give your friend a phone call and offer him your support. (He may be totally innocent and on the receiving end of a false allegation).
 
#17
He was told the reason for his suspension, he left with out telling us why. The Boss came in and told us he was suspended, told us not to speak to him. Hence my original question, the rest of the team are in the dark as to why he has been suspended.
He then did a disappearing act causing his wife to come into work looking for him, she had to be told he was sent home Thursday. She then involved Police as he was walkabout, search organised by us found him at Mums. He refused to talk to us, but at least his wife knew where to find him.
I have a bit more info than my colleagues as I found the a 2 minute of footage in the office of unguarded conversation were by I discovered its something to do with 2 of the female cleaners but not the nature of the allegations made by them.
When we found him at his Mums I offered to be his notetaker at the next meeting. But his Mums states his Solicitor will be there.
So it's all getting a bit Jeremy Kyle now.
 
#18
Are the cleaners fit? if so then their is a chance it is a complaint of sexual assault. He might be to embarrassed to tell his wife. Remember, innocent till proven guilty!
 
#19
Are the cleaners fit? if so then their is a chance it is a complaint of sexual assault. He might be to embarrassed to tell his wife. Remember, innocent till proven guilty!
No not by any definition fit, Scaley Alberto post pics of fitter birds. One of them has had to spoken to reference her B.O. on several occasions. The other is an Emo with a tache.
 
#20
i doubt his solicitor will be present at any meeting , the rules usually expressedly forbid that - it's usual however for a union ( or equivalent professional association ) rep oas as previously discussed a 'Mckenzie 'Friend' ' to be present.
 

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