In case you missed it over the weekend, reports are out that accuse Brett Favre of sending some questionable texts and pictures to multiple female employees and contractors when he was with the New York Jets. Need the rundown? Here you go, courtesy of USA Today (click through for more details):
"Brett Favre spent his 41st birthday on Sunday at the center of a scandal that had the NFL investigating allegations that he sent inappropriate messages to a female employee of the New York Jets in 2008.
The NFL confirmed it had opened a query into whether Favre had violated the terms of the league's personal-conduct policy. Deadspin posted a video on Thursday in which it alleged that Favre had sent inappropriate messages and photos to Jenn Sterger, who was a gameday host for the Jets in the one season he played for the team."
Bret Favre's personal life is just that - personal. But the story provides a great illustration related to being a leader in HR. Sometimes the job sucks.
You have no desire to do what happens next related to questioning/investigation. But you're the one with the skills.
The naysayers will tell you that you have no right and no need to dig into a scene from someone's personal life from an investigation standpoint. You would like to believe that, but you know better - you have to take at least a brief flyer on this type of case and investigate (just like the NFL is going to do) for the following reasons:
1. The series of texts involved specific employees and contractors. Others are watching. You need to dig in as a result.
2. If you don't do some due diligence, you're setting yourself up for a hostile environment harassment suit.
3. The texts represent a judgment issue. Think your CEO doesn't want you to determine if someone like Favre is broken from a judgment perspective? Whether the investigation would result in you removing Favre from the company or not, you need to know whether you can trust the judgment moving forward. That tells you whether you can put the employee in question in front of customers, prospects, other employees, etc.
At the end of the day, if the judgment impacted other employees, you have to investigate it and determine outcomes. Even if the employee in question is a hero to many. Especially if the employee in question is a hero to many.
You're the one who gets to call people into a room and ask some very pointed, tough questions. HR is a lonely place. Who knew Brett Favre would remind us of that?