I am a permanent employee for almost 6 years at a private company. A manager in the latter 4 years of that.
Together with 4 colleagues who are also managers, received a Notice to Explain (NTE) for an alleged information security breach because we have made a video of ourselves on the production floor and uploaded it on a social networking site. This was Apr 25 of this year. The NTE was served to us on Jun 10, more than a month after. Note that as managers we are allowed to bring our cellphones inside the floor and picture taking and video taking is rampant among our department even from non-managers. Sometimes, our senior managers and our director are involved in the activity. Our director is one of the signatories on the NTE. We were never reprimanded before but a colleague (who has some other agenda) reported on us, thus the NTE. It said that a review of the CCTV revealed our violation. It also says that the violation was under the code of conduct policy clause of "Other violations not mentioned...." Note that video taking was never explicitly mentioned in our company's code of conduct.
On June 3, a new policy was rolled out and video taking was now explicitly outlined in it. The policy is scheduled to be effective Jun 18. Our speculation was the new policy was rolled out because HR realized that the old policy would be insufficient for our case. Note that the incident was done Apr 25 and the NTE was served on June 10.
The possible sanction for us is "Final Written Reprimand" (which is one step away from Termination). May I also mention that the video's content was purely for fun and nothing in it revealed any information about our company.
My question is, is there any way for us to appeal this case? How? At the least, have our sanction lowered. One of us involved is even pushing for us to be cleared of all sanction, is this possible? Also, if we refuse to sign the sanction memo they will serve to us, what will be the outcome of that? Termination?
Apologies for the long explanation, but your help will really mean a lot. Thank you so much in advance.