AS WITH MOST STICKY HUMAN RESOURCES SITUATIONS, A
GREAT DEAL OF HEARTACHE CAN BE PREVENTED OR RESOLVED
BY WAY OF CLEAR, REASONABLE AND ENFORCEABLE POLICIES.
build a lucrative business facilitating art deals based on the prominent
individuals he met through his job at the CBC, which led to
his dismissal and placed the organization in a precarious position.
Organizations also have certain values that are important to
stakeholders, whether they are the public, shareholders or customers.
Employees who are engaged in another business that seems at
odds with those values, and could alienate or offend any of these
stakeholders, might put their employer in an awkward position.
So how can employers and employees avoid the negative implications
of these situations?
As with most sticky human resources situations, a great deal of
heartache can be prevented or resolved by way of clear, reasonable
and enforceable policies. Employment agreements should state that
employees who have access to client data and/or technical information
as a result of their jobs are entrusted with this important
knowledge and information, and the misuse of it would result in
damages to the company and in disciplinary action for the employee.
An employer can and should demand that employees are
attentive to their duties while at work, no matter what activities
they might be engaged in during their private time.
Employees who are contemplating taking on a side job
would also be well advised to consult their primary or original
employer, so as to avoid any perception of conflict. n
Susan Hodkinson is chief operating officer at Crowe Soberman LLP.
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