Being Set Up To Take the Blame

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an investigation of a sexual rumor:

A woman coworker filed a complaint to Corporate about another woman employee concerning her spreading false rumors about her sleeping with the supervisor and being pregnant by the supervisor. A woman from HR came to investigate the complaint. I am the supervisor, but HR didn’t talk to me, only four women. Human Resources flipped all that mess into my lap, even though the complaint was not against me it was against the women who is spreading the false rumors. It’s just a matter of old women being jealous of the young woman. The director of the facility is also a woman who is a part of the madness. What can I do? Is this gender discrimination. to set me up to look like I’m to blame?

Signed, Set Up

Dear Set Up:

There don’t appear to be elements of gender discrimination, but if you feel strongly that there are, you should contact an attorney about it. Many will provide a free consultation.This is a serious situation so you certainly want to handle it correctly and not come across as though you are unwilling to cooperate in a company investigation. Document all of your actions about this matter and provide as many witnesses as you can about it.

Try to take your emotions and upset feelings out of it, to avoid reacting from anger over being accused of wrong doing.We do not have expertise in HR issues of this nature, so perhaps you can contact someone locally to assist you with the details of your concerns. This is especially important since I note that you have written about other workplace concerns recently. It sounds as though things aren’t going well there and you could use some focused counseling about it.Best wishes to you with this challenging situation.

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.