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Disciplining Employees



OnJuly 7th, 2016, Reuters published an article titled “FBI chief sayshis staff would face discipline for handling emails the way Clintondid” written by Julia Edwards and David Alexander. The articlefocuses on the impending consequences that would be met by employeesin the Federal Bureau of Investigation in case they improperlyhandled classified material. According to James Comey, who is thedirector, such employees could either be dismissed or have theirsecurity clearance withdrawn. He was comparing this scenario to theimproper handling classified material by the former secretary ofstate, Hillary Clinton. Even though Comey did not recommend herprosecution, he noted that his employees would face disciplinaryaction for similar behavior which might include either job dismissalin addition to the loss of suspension or security clearance. Allpresidential contenders freely access classified information afterthe formal nomination. The power to revoke the security privileges ofClinton do not lie with the FBI director.

Thecomments of the FBI Director followed his meeting with a House ofRepresentatives committee. Some Republican senators had requested forthe suspension of Clinton’s clearances together with her formerassistants. Given that the FBI had cleared Clinton, the issue nowlies in the hands of the State Department which are steering aninternal review. Comey noted that his investigation was conducted ina professional and an apolitical manner (Edwards and Alexander,2016). He was accused of a double standard by Jason Chaffetz who waschairing the committee. However, Comey’s actions were defended byanother member, Elijah Cummings. The FBI director has also handledprevious cases involving the mishandling of classified informationwhere he recommended a felony charge to be imposed on the accused,General David Petraeus.

Accordingto me, this article is of significance due to the importance of notonly having a code of conduct in the workplace but also employeesabiding by them to the latter. Discipline is vital to the success ofan organization, and it is the mandate of supervisory personnel toensure all company policies are thoroughly followed. In addition tomaintaining proper conduct, it is the responsibility of management toensure they outline the repercussions to unacceptable behaviors.There is no doubt that every organization is determined to achievesuccess however, this can only happen when there is an intolerablepolicy towards unacceptable conduct.

Theeffectiveness of an organization and its productivity is affected bythe behavior of the employees. Discipline contributes to thereduction in labor costs due to the efficient utilization of thehuman resource. Lack of discipline creates a hostile work environmentleading to conflicts between employees and their colleagues.

Similarto the case surrounding Hillary Clinton, every business has someinformation that is considered confidential or related to matters ofpropriety therefore, needs some protection. To increase effectivenessand efficiency, employers provide some proprietary and confidentialinformation to their workers due to the need to increase theadvantages of sharing organizational knowledge. This information mayinclude sales, quality control, profit margins and marketing plansamong others. The sensitive knowledge is vital to the betterperformance of duties by employees. Therefore, it is the obligationsof these employees to ensure the secrecy of the information ismaintained. If a competitor accesses such information, the businessmay encounter catastrophic effects as their competitors will be ableto use such information to their advantage. Companies arecontinuously changing in accordance technological developments. Thishas increased the accessibility of classified information. Thepotential for abuse has been worsened by the use of Virtual PrivateNetworks which gives employees the chance to work from numerouslocations other than their workstations (Roque, 2015).

Therefore,it is vital for organizations to ensure they have an existing code ofconduct that clearly outlines the expected behavior of the employees.Furthermore, disciplinary measures should also be clearly indicatedso that employers are not accused of victimizing their workers whenthey implement punitive measures.


Edwards,J., and Alexander, D. (2016, July 7). FBIchief says his staff would face discipline for handling emails theway Clinton did. Reuters.Retrieved fromhttp://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-idUSKCN0ZN0XW.

Roque,R. (2015). Technology Trends to Prepare for in 2015. GovernmentFinance Review,31(1),38-41.

Steingold,F. S. (2015). Theemployer`s legal handbook: Manage your employees &amp workplaceeffectively.Nolo.