Sexual Misconduct

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about sexual conduct:

I was written up for sexual misconduct. I was told that I was seen kissing a coworker during working hours. I was told that a coworker reported this. It never happened. I got upset and signed the write up. I didn’t receive a copy. I believe the person that reported this is an employee that I have had a problem with. So my question is what can I do about this?

Signed, Written-Up

Dear Written-Up:

Signing a write-up means that you have acknowledged seeing it. You should write a refutation of that if you say the charge never happened and request that your refutation be included in your file. That note might say something like, “I was surprised to be written up for something I did not do. I did not kiss a coworker during working hours. I was not provided a chance to defend myself. Doing my job well is what matters to me.” You might suspect a coworker with whom you have had a problem made this false report. This suspicion can fester and further sour working with that individual. Guard against that. Do all you reasonably can to find ways to resolve whatever problems you had, such as who does what, when, where, and how. Make it your goal to make that coworker’s work effective and easier. In short, don’t gossip or complain about your write-up to that person or other coworkers.You should talk with your supervisor, whom I assume did the write-up. That talk should be honest.

If you were overly friendly with a coworker; in a way that might be interpreted as touching or kissing; admit that and pledge to avoid any conduct that might be seen that way again. Also this could be an opportunity to ask for suggestions of how you might do your job more effectively. You also might bring to your supervisor’s attention problems you have encountered and ask her/his advice. Think and talk with her/him as you might to a coach; seeking advice. Do these thoughts make sense? Let us know what you do. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and in this write-up aftermath that means you want to think and perform in ways that make you and others feel good about each other and proud of working together.

William Gorden