Hearsay

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about write-up for statement about a coworker made outside of work:

Can I be written up and/or reprimanded for something I said to a co-worker, about another co-worker, outside of work and after working hours???

Signed, Off Site, But Not Out of Sight

Dear Off Site, But Not Out of Sight:

Each workplace has its own rules and Federal and State Labor Laws generally don’t govern how they are administered. The exception to that would be if what was said discriminates a particular group or class pertaining to race, national origin, sexual preference, disability, and medical information. Probably your workplace is within its right to write you up for what you said about a coworker after working hours. (See Find Employee Rights & Labor Law Expert Lawyers Free at FindLaw)

We aren’t attorneys and don’t provide legal advice as to what is right or wrong; however, in such a matter, it is unlikely that you need to consult an attorney. If you think what you said was true and not correctly reported, you can submit a written defense of what you said to be added to the reprimand. Not knowing more than that you said something your boss or superiors thought shouldn’t have been said at work or anywhere, my advice is to learn from this. Don’t allow frustration fester into anger at your boss and whoever reported you. Rather, apologize for gossip about your coworker. Determine that in the future you will not badmouth others. In the future, weigh if it would not be better to bite your tongue or to go directly to one whom you think has behaved badly against you? See disagreement and conflict as an opportunity to clarify what is wrong and to collaboratively solve problems.

Put yourself in another’s shoes. Often more good than bad motivates you and others. Think about the big picture. You and your coworkers need to make your work group successful. To do that you need to cheer each other on and offer a helping hand. There is nothing that makes you hate to go to work than an unfriendly atmosphere after you get there. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that is what you want; a place where you work as a team. Team don’t just happen. They are coached and they practice, practice, practice playing and working together. This said likely is more than you want, but it’s free. The Internet has many sites about write-ups and reprimands. Just type in those words and you can learn more about this topic, but probably won’t find specific comments about being written up for talk a coworker after work off site.

William Gorden