Being Accused

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about speech that resulted in discipline:

I’m accused of something someone says they overheard me say, and I have been reprimanded and taken off the job. Do I have a right to know who accused me? What can I do about it? This is the second time in a span of couple months that someone has gone to HR and said I had said these things.

Signed, Accused of Saying Something Bad

Dear Accused of Saying Something Bad:

I’m sorry to learn you have had a second run in with Human Resources. Apparently, HR believes you talk too much and have talked badly about someone, your company or have a foul mouth. You haven’t said what you are accused of saying, but I have never heard anyone being reprimanded and taken off a job for saying something good. Do you have a right to learn who made these accusations? Probably not. Your superior can ask for an investigation and she/he might be able to determine if the accusation appears supported by evidence.

My advice is to quit gossiping and talking negative. Focus your talk about how to do your job more effectively; how to cut wasted supplies, time, errors, and money. My associate workplace doctor Tina Lewis Rowe suggests that rather than make the end of the workweek your goal with a TGIF (Thank god it’s Friday attitude) what we might do is TGIW (Thank goodness it’s work, especially when so many don’t have a job).

Do you have a right to know who accused you? I suggest you read the response to a recent question: Defamation? Read through it to the advice given by Dan Kearney, a manager of Human Resources This answer is brief because I think you had best stop wondering who accused you and look in the mirror.

Ask “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, to whom have I said something good today or this fall?” Get my point, you probably have been complaining and badmouthing someone or something. Right? If not, blame me, but if so, I’m sure you don’t need a mother to wash out your mouth with soap or the Workplace Doctor to give you a sermon to know you had best not say something about someone else that you wouldn’t say to her/him face to face.

In short, don’t obsess about those who reported you. Rather focus on how you might do good work and make your boss’ job easier and your workplace healthy. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. What do you think that means? What might you do to help other enjoy working with you?

William Gorden