Accused of Something A Top Level Manager Did

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctor about spreading confidential information:

I was accused by my HR of spreading confidential information to a coworker. I did my own investigation and found a top level manager had spread the information. What can I do?

Signed, Falsely Accused

Dear Falsely Accused:

If HR accused you of something and you have proof or a strong suspicion who did it, go back to HR and given them a written and verbal statement. (Don’t leave out the written part.) They may not do anything about a top level manager spreading confidential information, but at least they would know the truth and could clear your name and reputation.You don’t say how your immediate manager is involved, but it would seem he or she should be told about this as well. After all, your immediate manager knows of the accusation and may treat you differently forever if you don’t tell him or her the truth or at least what you suspect and what you found out.

Of course, the other thing you have to figure out is why a coworker would say you told him or her the confidential information or why HR would feel so sure you are the one who gave out the information. That may require an additional investigation. But, it certainly sounds as though you should be proactive and aggressive about clearing your name. Failing to do so could have long-term, very negative consequences.Best wishes to you with this. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.