Falsely Accused of Giving Meds to Co-Workers

Question to Ask the Workplace  Doctors about drugs:

I have been accused of giving out my medication to three people now at work. Me and one of the people were drug tested under suspicion, which should have cleared me then. I need to add that I believe the person starting all of this is either my soon to be ex-sister-in- law who works here also, or my ex-best-friend (also works here). So what can I do when I think this company should look at the source instead of me??

Signed, Attacked

Dear Attacked:

This accusation is a serious one, since it could involve a law violation as well as a rules violation. If you haven’t already done so, write a letter to HR or your manager and say that you know the investigation will show there was no wrong doing on your part. However, you are concerned that someone is trying to discredit you or perhaps discredit a coworker accused of taking medicaitons from you, by making a wild accusation of that nature.

Say that you are requesting that the investigation that is being done also include an investigation to determine who started the lie and why, so that your name and the names of others are cleared rather than just ending it by saying that you passed the drug test.You could say something like this: “If someone would lie about this, they would lie about other things to cause problems for me or others and I would like to have that issue resolved if possible.” There are also ways to reduce the chances of this kind of problem in the future.1.) Don’t tell people you are on medication and they won’t think to accuse you of giving it out. 2.) Only bring enough for the day, in a small non-medication container. 3.) Never be seen with it openly. Take it in private and do not discuss it. 4.) Keep your relationships with people who might use drugs to a minimum. It isn’t necessary to build a social life at work and many employees–especially young women–find it much better to work at work and socialize outside of work.You also will obviously need to be cautious about your interactions with the people you think may have lied. The best way to do that is to not talk to them except about business and don’t talk about them to anyone else, no matter how upset you are about the whole situation.You may have noticed how everything that is said eventually gets around and back again! What could happen is that your employers may dismiss everyone who has been heard gossiping or stirring the pot about any conflict that has been going on. Hopefully you have not done so to any large extent. If someone asks you about it, just say that you think it is best to not keep it going by talking about it. You might give a brief summary of what happened, since everyone probably knows anyway. Say emphatically that you did not do anything wrong in this case and that you are very concerned that someone would accuse you of it. Then, stick with your resolution to not talk about it. Don’t say who you think might have started the rumor, just end the conversation with a statement of your innocence of violating any rules.Talk to your supervisor and tell him or her that you just want to keep your job and do a good job while working. Then, focus on your work and do not get dragged into further arguments or sniping remarks or actions.Once you have sent your memo to someone, asking for additional investigation just ensure that nothing happens to give the appearance of wrong doing on your part. You can’t force your employers to investigate, but your request for it may help them believe you truly weren’t doing anything wrong and that you are willing to pursue finding out more about it. The bottom line for your employer is that they just want to get work done without daily hassle and without concern over illegal activity or inappropriate activity. Be a steady employee and avoid conflicts and you will come out of this and be able to more forward with your life and work.Best wishes to you.

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.