Coworker and Former Friend Accused My Husband of Verbal Abuse

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a situation between coworkers who were close friends but now are in conflict about a personal issue that resulted in a confrontation at work.



I have been friends with my coworker for four years. She lived in my home for three months when she had nowhere else to go. We have spent holidays together that included her family and mine. Almost a month ago she decided to change everything.

It started off with my husband and I kicking out my daughters’ boyfriend (my daughter is now 18 and her boyfriend is now 19) He had been living with us for about a year and a half after he got my daughter pregnant. We took him in, even though it caused us a financial burden. My coworker “friend” was asked by my daughter if her boyfriend could stay with her during work days for two weeks until the house they wanted to rent was ready.

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Complaint About A Co-Worker Was Unintentional!

Question to Ask The Workplace Doctors:
Complaint about a coworker was unintentional!

“How can I tell my boss I didn’t mean to complain about my co-worker?”

I had a mandatory one on one meeting with my boss recently to go over how I was doing since being hired 4 short months ago.  It was a rushed meeting because we spent most of it going over the company website, then had 2 minutes left to go over my numbers and open questions/concerns.

In the process of discussing my work I informed her that I noticed a co-worker who has really high numbers is because she does not take a lunch. After much protesting of not telling my boss who it was, she said since I brought it up, she needed to know.

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Write-ups Over 3 Months Old

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about Write-Ups: Can a new boss write up employee for absences that are three months old?

If a new boss takes over and see’s that a write up was not given for an absence, that occurred 3 months past. Can he still do this?


Write Up Right?


Dear Write Up Right?:

To the best of my knowledge there are no laws governing write ups. They are a form of discipline in many workplaces. Can your new boss write you up for an absence three months ago? If he has, apparently, he can. Possibly he learned of this from your previous boss. Also perhaps he wants to warn you that being absent without a valid excuse should that occur again can be cause for firing.

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In Trouble for Fulfilling Supervisory Role

A question  to Ask the Workplace Doctors about getting in trouble for taking a supervisory role: 


I was told when I was hired by my supervisor that I was to supervise a secretary. It is in my official job description. While supervising a secretary who was not performing her job duties adequately, I contacted indirectly our dept. head and the personnel dept. I wanted to extend the probationary period for the employee. The department head called me into a meeting in front of the secretary and many others and informed me that I was not the supervisor for the secretary and that I was guilty of harassment. I was called a liar and told I violated the chain of command by contacting Personnel, although I had contacted them several times in the past over other employee issues. What next?

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Should I Report This?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a boss who works her assistant off the clock: Should that be reported?

I have a boss who does her schoolwork on work time and asks others to assist with her schoolwork also on work time. This involves many hours per week. She has her administrative assistant working 50-60 hrs. per week and gets paid for 37.5 hours. Meanwhile the boss is out the door.

Signed, I’m Not The Boss

Dear I’m Not The Boss:

You are not the boss but you don’t say if you are the administrative assistant who the boss asks to assist with her schoolwork. I gather you mean the assistant works 50-60 hours and only gets paid for 37.5 and the boss doesn’t work that long. If you are the administrative assistant who is being asked to work off the clock, you should be very angry.

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Can I Sue Over Being Called An Idiot?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors:

I need to know if I can sue an outraged doctor for calling me an idiot in front of patients, colleagues and my bosses.

Signed, Angry

Dear Angry:

We’re not attorneys, but I can tell you that generally it is the totality of the situation that indicates whether there has been defamation of character that rises to the level of claiming civil damages. Consult an attorney who specializes in civil claims and ask for a free cursory analysis of the situation. Have an informal transcription of the complete dialogue, without any embellishments. Also have an overview of the situation that led to the comments. List witnesses.

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I’m Afraid to Speak To Others!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about panic attack for being shouted at: What should this individual do who is afraid of reprimands?

I am 26 years old. My mom asked me to keep quiet even when yelled at by others as she is dependent on relatives. I followed that advice from my school and into my workplace too. One day my boss shouted at me and I had panic attack. I quit my job. I am afraid of talking to anyone because I worry that they will shout at me. If somebody comes near me to ask any question I get a panic attack. I am not sure what I should do now.

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No Contact With Employees Who Are Gone

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about contacts with former employees.

Can an employer require that current employee have no contact with former employees that have brought litigation to the employer?

Signed, Cut Off

Dear Cut Off:

We answer communication related workplace questions and don’t give legal advice. You employer can request and/or order that you have no contact with former employees, but I doubt that is a matter of law but it might be in light of litigation against your employer. You can consult your Human Resources and/or Personnel to learn more. However, wouldn’t be wiser to abide by your employer’s “requirement”? The relationship with your employer, at least for now, I think is what matters most to you. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and sometimes that entails making adjustments. Does this make sense? If not, you probably know more about this than you have spelled out.

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Written Reprimands

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors:

Do written reprimands in HR files affect an employee’s future career opportunities outside of the company who issued the reprimand?

Signed, More than Just Wondering

Dear More than Just Wondering:

Our site answers communication-related workplace questions, with the exception of legal and medical. It is best that you send this kind of question to a Human Relations site or if really concerned that you seek the counsel of an attorney. I think as a general rule, employers are cautious about sending negative information about a former employee or one still employed who is searching for another place of work.

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Can I Ask For A Witness When I Am Reprimanded?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about reprimand witness:

If I’m being taken out the back of my workplace to be told off for something the employers overheard, do I have the legal right to ask to have someone present with me (a friend or family member etc.)?

Signed, Need Support

Dear Need Support:

I see you are writing from outside the U.S., so I don’t know what labor laws apply there. However, I did some research and do not think there is a labor law in your country that covers that issue. There isn’t a law in the U.S. about it. If your work has an employee’s union, there may be a requirement that you be allowed to have union representation. There may be an HR policy about it, if your company is large enough to have an HR section. I don’t know of any business where someone from outside the workplace (family or non-work friends) would be allowed to be present.

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