Falsely Accused of Bullying

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about accused of bullying:

I am a manager in a supermarket. One employee has put in his notice, accusing me of bullying him and demeaning him. There is no truth in this at all, but now the employee is taking the matter to a lawyer. The employee was treated no differently than other members of staff. Any advice?

Signed, Worried

Dear Worried:

Your HR staff and likely a company attorney will be contacting you about this, if it does become a matter of litigation. But, the fact that the former employee has an attorney does not necessarily mean there will be a lawsuit. You need to be prepared however. So, since you know there might be problems, this is the time to be putting together all of your documentation. You should have written records of any commendations, corrective counseling, special projects, and other things that can show the work of the former employee and how you responded to it, compared to other employees. You will also want to ensure that HR has all of the performance appraisals for the employee.This can show that you did, in fact, commend the employee and others, or if you reprimanded the employee, you have done the same things with others. It will also show the positive and corrective things you have noted on performance appraisals.If you have witnesses to interactions that you think might have been considered demeaning or inappropriate, gather those names to give to an investigator. If you have witnesses to positive interactions with the employee, list those as well.

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