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Should a Toxic’ Workspace Complaint Make Hartford’s HR Director fire the Chief Internal Auditor?

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CASE: HR and Work Place Discipline

HARTFORD — Hartford’s human resources director is recommending that the Chief Internal Auditor be fired after an employee complained he was subject to a “toxic” work environment in the auditor’s office.

The specific and general complaints can be summarized as follows;

  • That he made disparaging comments about others,
  • Used the office bathroom without closing the door during work hours,
  • Allegation of frequently taking long lunches and leaving work early (chief auditor does not clock in and out),
  • Regularly watches or listens to FOX News during work hours, which one staff member said “could be viewed as demotivating or distracting”,
  • Assumed poor performance as a supervisor, with one saying there were no standard operating procedures in the office.

An independent investigator substantiated some of the claims but determined that the Chief Internal Auditor didn’t violate any policies on harassment, retaliation, threats or time theft, as alleged. However, the city’s new human resources director took a difference stance when he forwarded the report to the Chief Internal Auditor supervisors on the Internal Audit Commission.

The Chief Internal Auditor also have a counter complaint.

  • That he was “being eviscerated” at the direction of Hartford Mayor.
  • That the mayor doesn’t appreciate some of the audit reports issued that are factual and true,” because, “he doesn’t want to hear bad news.”


Base on the limited information before us;

  • How will you describe the organisation’s work environment?
  • What recommendations can you give to the HR Director and the Chief Internal Auditor, on how best to resolve the current issue?
  • What type of organizational culture seems to be in operation?
  • What steps should the Chief Internal Auditor take to improve the working relationship in his department and with his other stakeholders?

Read more about the story at;

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