Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Don’t forget your b.s. meter when conducting workplace investigations

By now, you’ve likely heard about the plagiarism flap that has embroiled the GOP following Melania Trump’s Monday-night convention speech.

In case you missed it, Melania Trump (or her speechwriter) is accused of copying parts of Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC speech for Mrs. Trump’s 2016 oration.

Decide for yourself:

For its part, the Trump campaign has officially denied the allegations of plagiarism as “aburd,” while its high-profile surrogates have suggested that a mere seven-percent rate of identity does not count as plagiarism.

As for me, I think that anyone who watches both speeches and concludes the Mrs. Trump’s writer did not crib Mrs. Obama’s speech can only be a shill for the Trump campaign. And I’m not trying to politicize this issue; it’s just that obvious. Any denial of plagiarism simply fails the b.s. test. 

Here’s the employment-law takeaway: when you are assessing credibility—for example, during a harassment or other workplace investigation—you do not check your common sense at the door. In fact, common sense serves as your best friend. Anyone who watched the above video can only reach the conclusion that someone copied Mrs. Obama’s speech for Mrs. Trump. To argue any differently borders on the ludicrous

Do not ignore your common sense. In fact, your b.s. meter very well might be your best ally in dealing with workplace issues.