Accused of Calling A Coworker

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about calling an employee names:

An employee accused me of calling him a pussy. I have denied it, as I did not say it. The employee has a witness who has written a testimony. Do I have a right to at least see the testimony? I am told that it would create a hostile work environment but I say that I am entitled to see all evidence being used against me. I am not being fired but have been written up and think this will be used in the future to fire me. I think I should be allowed to see the statement in order to refute any falsehoods. I am not interested in the name of the witness just the testimony.

Signed, They Said I Said

Dear They Said I Said:

“Do you have a right?” is a legal question or one of policy determined by your employer. We don’t provide legal advice, but usually Human Resources will accept a written refutation of a write-up and will put it in your files.

You can request an investigation of the matter and that you see the written witness’ testimony. However your employer probably will restate they aren’t obliged to provide the written testimony and you’ll likely not get it unless you have an attorney who demands it. What should you do?

Probably it is best to put this behind you, submit a refutation denying that you said that, and pledge to speak respectfully to coworkers. What is more importantly, from now on, focus on what needs to be done and then do what you can to make his and your work as easy and effective as is reasonable. My saying that working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS is not just a motto. It demands genuine cooperation and a positive attitude. Can you meet with this individual and work through whatever it was that apparently caused conflict? If you are worried that such an accusation might be added to other complaints, it is time that you helped re-establish a climate of goodwill.

William Gorden