Employee relations specialists who are specially trained to handle workplace complaints have the skills to handle legitimate workplace claims filed with HR. Handling a false claim can be more challenging. The most difficult part may be discussing the matter with an employee who has been falsely accused of wrongdoing and preserving that relationship. On the other hand, the employee responsible for filing a false HR claim needs a serious warning about the ramifications associated with false accusations.

Some situations are serious enough to call for disciplinary actions beyond a simple warning.

Look for Discrepancies

Double-check your investigative notes to identify discrepancies in the employee's complaint for signs that the employee's claim with HR is false. If you need a second opinion, confer with an HR colleague who is familiar with handling employee relations matters or visit with the HR manager if you need an expert eye to review the employee's complaint.

Follow Up Regarding Discrepancies

Schedule a follow-up meeting with the employee who filed the complaint. Explain to the employee that you discovered some areas of his HR claim that are conflicting. Tell him that you double-checked his statements and that your investigation revealed points for clarification.

Line by line, review the details of his complaint and ask for clarification on the points you believe may be false.

Refrain from using an accusatory tone when you discuss discrepancies in the employee's complaint – simply ask for clarification. Ask the employee to review his signed statement and attest to the truthfulness of his claims.

Go By Company Policy

Show the employee the company policy that addresses employees filing false claims. Organizations that have extensive workplace policies and comprehensive employee handbooks often have guidance on handling false HR claims. In cases where employees file false HR claims, they are held responsible for intentional acts and can be disciplined for making false allegations.

Discuss the seriousness of the employee's claim and the implications of a false claim. If your discussion with the employee reveals that it was unintentional, counsel the employee on filing future claims. Advise her to visit with HR informally before lodging a formal complaint.

Discuss Disciplinary Action

Meet with the employee and his supervisor to discuss disciplinary action for intentional filing of a false HR claim. However, if the supervisor was the subject of the complaint, handle the disciplinary issue with the employee one-on-one or with a department director. In this case, don't involve the subject of the complaint in the disciplinary action because that can cause conflict between the employee and supervisor.

Meet with the Subject of the False Report

Schedule a separate meeting with the person who was the subject of the employee's false complaint. Without disclosing details, explain that your investigation revealed that the matter should be closed. If the subject of the complaint asks for details, tell her you're not at liberty to discuss them.

In the interest of preserving the working relationship with the accused, assure her that any disciplinary action against her will be reversed and noted in her personnel file.