Should I Go Back Where I Was Accused?

Question:

I was wrongfully accused by the manager and employees where I worked, of stealing money. The manager called and told me she made a mistake and she knows it wasn’t me. Now she wants me to come back to work. I dont think I should. I want to take legal action. Please help me. What should I do?

Signed,

Not Ready To Forgive


Answer:

Dear Not Ready To Forgive:

We can’t provide legal advice, so if you want to know for sure whether you have legal standing to sue, you will need to consult an attorney.

Maybe I can provide you with some things to consider in the meantime.

1. You don’t say you were fired, just that you have been off work. If you weren’t fired, and the matter was being investigated, that is a normal business matter. It’s hurtful to you personally, no doubt about it. But, they couldn’t investigate easily while you were there. If you lost pay, you might want to make that a requirement for your return…that you be repaid what you lost due to the false accusation.

2. If you are angry and don’t want to go back to that workplace, that would be understandable. On the other hand, your manager obviously was sorry for the accusation and has asked you to return. It would be hard to claim you are being kept from employment because of the situation, since you are being offered your job back. 3. If you can get work easily someplace else, that too would be a reason to not return. If you think you might not be able to find work elsewhere, you might want to take that into consideration. Check the available market before you make your decision.

4. Considering the circumstances, was there some valid reason people at your workplace may have thought it was you who took the money? It sounds as though there was poor money control anyway, but could it be you might have thought it looked suspicious, from their viewpoint? If you go back, make that a project, to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else!

5. Legal action will require an attorney and the attorney will ask you to list damages, so you will want to be prepared with those. I would guess that until you have talked to an attorney you will always think you should have done something. So, it might be a good idea to at least check and get that settled.

Most attorneys will give free consultations over the phone, or have one of their staff advise you, about whether or not you seem to have a case.

Best wishes in your future with this situation. I’m glad you’ve had your job offered to you again, but it might be that you will be happier in a new setting anyway.

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.