Being accused of something illegal or immoral at work is scary–especially if you’re innocent, but probably even more so if you’re guilty. Regardless of whether or not you actually did what you’re being accused of, whether it’s slipping change from your till as a cashier, cooking the books or sexually harassing your cubemate, if you’re called into a loss prevention meeting, you need to know what to do–and what not to do. Here’s an expert’s advice!
Know that you’re probably being fired.
With the exception of a few unionized gigs, understand that this is never good–and it’s almost impossible to bounce back from completely.
Know that loss prevention and managers probably aren’t on your side.
That’s why you’re where you are. (Unless, of course, you actually are guilty–in which case, that’s why you’re where you are.) Don’t fall for any “good cop” schtick.
This is especially important if whatever you’re being accused of is illegal. If your superiors say no, leave.
Know that you may be fired for leaving.
And that’s fine. Wouldn’t you rather be fired for that than accidentally admit guilt to felony embezzlement or worse?
Don’t sign anything.
If you’re being accused of something, whether or not you’re guilty, do not sign any forms related to the incident. If your superiors ask why, tell them politely, professionally and firmly that you want to review the contents with your attorney before giving them your John Hancock.
After reviewing your paperwork with a professional, address the charges in writing with human resources.
This may be your only shot at saving your job, and if you do it too soon or before you’ve got a clear head and good direction, you’ll doom your chances–slim as they are.
Start applying for new jobs.
C’mon dude, do you really want to go back there?