I've had a person reporting to myself wh...

Asked by Charlene on 10-11-2020 16:16:57
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Gauteng

I've had a person reporting to myself who committed fraud, she admitted to it paid back the company and resigned. We had an investigation and found out it was the first time she did this, no criminal charges were laid against her. My question is, she is now applying for other positions at other companies, when I receive a reference call from them am I allowed to disclosed this to them or not?

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 11-11-2020 17:05:28

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

If the employee committed the fraud, came to you to confess, paid the company back, and then resigned, that is one thing, but in your instance I think that you picked up the fraud and confronted her? Based on that, she confessed and resigned. 

I would say that you shouldn't disclose it (because there was never any investigation into the matter prior to her resigning) and you would simply say that she resigned from the company for personal reasons and you can confirm that she worked for the company.

You could then say that you don't want to provide any further character reference. 

Let the company looking for the reference draw their own conclusions from that.

If you go into a whole long story about fraud, etc, it might be considered to be defamatory since there was never any formal charges laid against her?

I would caution you from giving too much information about the circumstances under which she left. But also don't make any positive statements about her being the best employee. 

Just that you can confirm that she worked there from XXXXX to XXXX dates and that she was paid XXXX salary. 

If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.

Att. Patrick

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Answer Accepted

This answer was accepted on 12-11-2020 13:13:15

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