Falsely Accused of Workplace Violence

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about violence accusation:

I was falsely accused of workplace violence by another supervisor and an hourly employee. I had to write a statement saying I did not do this. The next day another hourly employee stated to me that she wanted to put a bug in my ear that the same supervisor was investigating the alleged charge again. There has been no HR investigation. I asked that the employee be moved, but without success. It’s making the environment uncomfortable for me.

Signed, Accused and Anxious

Dear Accused and Anxious:

If I read your question correctly, an employee said you did something that was construed as workplace violence and you had to write a statement about it. Now it is being investigated again. I edited your question for clarity and believe that is what you intended. If the matter is different, let us know.Unless there are witnesses, this appears to be a matter of one person alleging one thing and another person (you) denying it. The big issue is if you have ever behaved in a way that would make it seem likely you WOULD do anything violent. If you have always been an effective communicator and have never gotten in anyone’s face or been hostile acting, probably most people won’t believe you would do anything violent. If you have acted hostile in the past, they might believe it of you now.You say you asked that the employee be moved, but that might not happen if it would be viewed as punishment for the employee. So, it seems you need to find out clearly what the feelings of your boss, HR and others are, about your relationship with this employee and whether or not they think you have done something wrong–and what proof they have.You may want to ask HR for a complete investigation, unless you believe one is already being done. You certainly should talk to your supervisor and express your concern.

I don’t know your work situation, but hopefully it is good enough that you can talk to a supervisor or manager and get something worked out. I can well understand why you are concerned, since workplace violence is a very serious issue. In addition is the issue of workplace contention and conflict, which seems to be present at your work. After you deal with the one issue that effects you, consider looking at the larger picture and finding out if there are things that could help. You will need to take the lead, and that might not be comfortable if there are bad feelings. But it might help you save your job and certainly would help your reputation.Best wishes to you as you work through this. There is no easy answer. The main thing is to find out the truth and help others find it out as well, then see if you can help start a new way of working for yourself and others.

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.