Is Co-Worker Slandering Me?

Question:

Back in November, my fiancee was in some trouble and the person that I was living with, a co-worker of mine, turned him into the police. Since then she has been rude to me, not only at home but at the workplace as well. She has written numerous things about me and my private life online where other co-workers could see and comment on as well, which they did. I feel as if I am unwanted and disrespected at the workplace and now nine months later everything still continues on: disrespect, hatred, etc. I have been mistreated by not only co-workers but by management as well, can I take this to court as a slander case or is there something else I can do with it? Please help me, I would like my life to start going back to normal sometime soon

Signed,

Feeling Disrespected


Answer:

DearĀ Feeling Disrespected:

There could be so many issues involved with this, that to know for sure about the slander aspect you would need to talk to a local attorney. Most will give you a free consultation over the phone–often with an assistant who is well-versed in the law. Look in the Yellow Pages for attorneys who specialize in civil actions.

Clearly your roommate (ex-roommate I presume)is not happy with you and doesn’t consider herself your friend. The nature of the criminal issue involving your fiance may have had something to do with it. Your role in it, or in helping your fiance, or some other aspect of the situation may be creating long-term problems. Or, it could be there are other conflicts and that is just one of them.

Rarely will an entire workplace gather together to hate someone or be unkind to them, if that someone has been a friend and a valuable member of the team before then. If you have any friends among your co-workers at all, try to find out what exactly is causing the problems.

Consider going to your supervisor or manager–or to Human Resources or Personnel, if you work for a larger company–and tell them the impact this is having on your ability to work effectively. They likely can’t stop your co-worker from writing about you away from work, but they can stop actions and behavior at work that are openly discourteous.

You say your managers are also being disrepectful. Perhaps you could try an open conversation and say that you would like to know what is behind the change in treatment of you. Ask them if they have ideas for how to make things better. The fact that you ask might go a long way toward making them empathize with your situation.

If you try to find a resolution but it doesn’t help, you may find you will have to do as Dr. Gorden often advises, and “vote with your feet”, by finding another, better place, to work. Hopefully you can use these experiences to help you in your new working relationships.

Best wishes as you look for ways to deal with this challenge.

Tina Lewis Rowe