Can A Statement I Made Be Seen By Managers?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about confidential statements:

I am being investigated for saying something that was overheard by a third party that was offended by my statement. I met with my manager and district manager and was told it was a he said/she said thing and that no one else had a problem and that it would be laid to rest.Now, the regional manager is requesting the investigation notes taken by HR. I was told that all statements were confidential and that they would not be shared with anyone else but corporate security. My question is can my regional manger get these statements and if she has what can I do if I was told all would be shared with security only?

Signed, Worried

Dear Worried:

Your regional manager has the organizational authority to look at your statements. Probably the people who told you your statements wouldn’t be seen were referring to not showing them to the complainant. But, anything that has to do with the company is the ultimate responsibility of those above you in the chain of command. If there is no clear proof of anything it is likely your manager will see that as well. And, if you have been a good employee previously this will not be a significant event.

Consider writing a brief note to your regional manager and say you know she will have heard about the investigation and you want to assure her that you never have knowingly said anything that would be offensive. Tell her you are committed to being a good employee and that this has made you even more aware of how much you value your job and working for your company.That will give your manager something else to read besides just the investigation and will let her know you ARE concerned about it, even though you didn’t do anything wrong. You will always get more support if you present the approach that you are concerned, rather than angry–even though being falsely accused or misunderstood IS very frustrating! Best wishes as you work through this challenging time.

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.