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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
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Forged 1199 by employee turned into Human Resources and

Customer Question

Forged 1199 by employee turned into Human Resources and processed. both employees aware of document. HR did not have owners signature.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

How precisely was the 1199 forged? Also, what are you trying to achieve here? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Please kindly respond to me here rather than starting new question threads. In the other question thread, you stated:

"The employee knew the document was signed by his girlfriend, she does not have power of attorney. He brought this complaint to me as I am the Operations Manager."

Please help me understand. The employee knew that the form was not signed by him and yet he turned it in to you? Why would he have submitted the form if it was not signed by him?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I fear that I may be terminated for even bringing the issue up. The president of the company is related to the HR rep. Every thing is ok now, but she will not speak to me. HR passed the form to his girlfriend, she signed and turned in to HR. two completely different signatures. It's an ethics/integrity problem...
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. There are a lot of different people involved in this situation, and it's an unusual situation, so I'm having trouble following.

I still don't understand why the employee would submit the form if he was only going to later turn around and say that he never signed it and his signature was forged. Also, why did the HR rep give this employee's form directly to his girlfriend? Does she work for the company, too?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She did not look at the signature. she gave the form to her. she signed the form "his signature" and turned it in. he knew she signed it but thought it strange that HR would accept the form. He had a problem with it after the fact.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Patrick, this is a "professional" HR manager. She should have caught the issue. I have bigger problems than this. I don't want to loose my job over an incompetent handling of an error. I'll let it go at that. thank you for your time..
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. I was typing an answer. Are you saying you no longer need assistance with this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's an ethical problem that I will not loose my job over. At least I have spoke to someone about it.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I understand. I don't mean to be obtuse but are you asking a question?

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

If I can help you in any way, just let me know. But right now I am unsure what if anything you want me to do for you....

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no recourse, I am stuck in this situation. I will have to deal with the ethics error. I just try too hard with my employees. I need to take their side and I went over board with her. I told her it was wrong and she did not like it. Nothing will be done about it. I do have the Board of Directors I can make a complaint with. I need to take a few HR courses.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

To be honest I do not see this as an ethics error. If an employee turns in a document knowing that someone else signed it for them, then they implicitly consented to that person signing for them. Otherwise, why else would they have turned in the document? The fact the employee later changed their mind and decided they didn't like that their girlfriend signed does not make any sense at all. What difference does it make who signed if you wanted direct deposit and turned in the form? There is no damage. The same result would have been achieved regardless of who signed. Honestly, this reeks of a personal dispute between the employee and his girlfriend where the employee is now trying to get his girlfriend in trouble.

While I certainly understand your concern about the HR manager not catching the signature discrepancy, you must understand that when someone turns in a document on their own behalf, it is presumed that the signature is authentic. So, the discrepancy is something that could easily be missed.

I don't see any legal protection arising from a complaint about the HR manager's failings here. I see this as boiling down to a matter of company politics and more about personal relationships than the law.

These are my thoughts. If you have a specific question I am happy to address it for you.