Question on law: Nemo debet prodere se ipsum

Hello all,

I've got a general question on the law concerning self-implication. I recently had a questionaire to fill in at work, last question was the do you know of anything etc etc that breaks the code of conduct. To inject a little humour I replied "Nemo debet prodere se ipsum". I wish I hadn't as it created a flurry of emails from yank 'attorneys'. I , of course, played the game and revised my answer to 'no'. Which was an honest and truthful answer.

One email contained the message:

"There is no provision under U.S. or UK law that allows you to invoke the "privilege against self-incrimination" to refuse to answer a request made by your employer. XXXXXXX has a policy entitled "Cooperation with Internal Investigations" that requires you to cooperate. This policy can be found on the XXXXXXX under Ethics and Legal Compliance - Policies. Failure to comply with aXXXXXXXXX policy is grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment."

Now I can understand that if an individual doesn't want to co-operate with an internal enquiry then he may be subject to disciplinary action resulting from breach of policies which an employee has agreed to observe, however, I am not sure that the the highlighted section is legally correct.

Could any Lawyers out there advise on the letter of the law?
You cannot be forced to incriminate yourself by your company, however they cannot be forced to continue to employ you if you breech a condition of employment with that particular firm.
i think i nearly blacked out then reading this.
I have absolutely no legal expertise, but surely in the States this is the same as "pleading the 5th (amendment to the constitutional bill of rights)?" ie.... I elect to say nothing in the event that in doing so I may unintentionally incriminate myself? I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that for a company to enforce their 'co-operation with internal investigations' policy would be unconstitutional. Which in the US is worse than being a baby killer!

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