Co-Worker Spreading Lies About Me

Question:
I have been at the same job for 20 years. New management took over and said they want to keep me and that they needed me. However, we have a young girl who started with them and obviously wants me gone. She talks about me daily turning others against me. Spreading terrible lies.

When they first come in a few months ago I did everything humanly possible to help them make their transition especially since I already knew them and didn’t have a problem with them . My years and experience made this girl jealous and that’s when she started. It has gotten way out of hand. There isn’t a day that goes by that she don’t slander and spread rumors to others.

read more

Manager Falsely Accused By Subordinates

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about accusation by subordinates: It was said that my wife, their manager, said that one of the women would spread her legs to anyone

My wife, who is a senior manager, was accused of saying something about three of her subordinates. It’s an outright lie that she said anything she was accused of saying. (It was said that my wife said that one of the women would spread her legs to anyone.) My wife and I are trying to be good Christian people and my wife is the only person I know that would not lie about anything(not even a white lie). The company had to write her up as company policy. What can we do to clear her name?

Signed, Trying to Help

Dear Trying to Help:

I can imagine how frustrated and hurt your wife feels over this–and how you feel on her behalf. It appears that the company chose to believe subordinates who quoted your wife. My first thought, as an outsider, is that your wife must have had a conversation about one employee to another for them to even think about making up a story, especially one of that nature. However, I’m afraid there probably is nothing specific your wife can do at this point except show through her behavior that the story was absurd and she was falsely accused.

You don’t have to clear her name if she is well thought of, but it would be good to ask that a rebuttal statement from her be placed with the reprimand in her personnel folder. That way if someone who doesn’t know her in the future sees the reprimand they will also read her side of the story.The underlying issue here is why would a subordinate dislike your wife to the extent that they would completely make something up. It’s hard to avoid that with some subordinates because they will look for the slightest reason to create grief for a boss.One thing that helps is to never, ever mention an employee’s name to another employee, except to commend them.

No matter how much one employee might dislike another one, their loyalty will be to each other and not to the manager. So, they immediately tell someone who tells someone and in the process the story is exaggerated.Your wife probably said something slightly negative or even just agreed when someone else did, and it grew from there. She’s not lying when she says she didn’t say what she is accused of saying. But, the employees who heard it think that is what she meant or would have said or might have said, and they all talk about it so much they start believing it.

Urge your wife to keep her focus on being the kind of person who is respected for her work and her positive treatment of others. She should never make or encourage judgments about the morality of employees, since it has nothing to do with work. She should also be careful to not let hurt or resentment show in her dealings with those who lied about her and falsely accused her. It might be that other employees will ask her about it. She should just say it was a personnel issue and she wants to move forward from here and not talk about it. (I think her faith has examples of how to treat those who trespass against her 🙂

This troubling time will fade away before long because your wife’s work and actions will tell the truth about her. Best wishes with all of it. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe read more

Slandered By My Boss!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an accusation of sleeping with: The accusations are false and I hate that I have to go back to work for her.

I was told by a manager of mine that the director of the spa I work in accused me of sleeping with the director of the hotel. The director then sent the manager a work e-mail telling her to spy on us and to get some of the other employees to do the same and report back to her. I told the director of the hotel and gave him the e-mail. We reported it to HR. The accusations are false and I hate that I have to go back to work for her. What should I do?

Signed, Don’t Even Want To Be Around Her

Dear Don’t Even Want To Be Around Her:

You are certainly correct to be upset and I’m glad you and the hotel director reported this to HR. If the spa director thought you were doing something wrong she should have handled it herself, not attempted to get others to watch your activities and report them to her.On the other hand, according to how the email was written, it could be viewed that she talked to a manager (a supervisory role) and merely asked her to observe any wrongdoing by you and the hotel director.Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of what will happen, even if the spa director is considered to have been in the wrong. It could be you will still have to work around the spa director if you want to stay working there.

Until the matter is investigated and an HR decision is made about whether or not the email was inappropriate–and if there should be disciplinary action or dismissal for the director–you could either limit work (which would be like punishing you financially!) or you could focus on work and not interact with the director except as required to do the job.If she continues as the director and you continue working there, that approach may become your full-time method of operation. It certainly isn’t optimal, but it would limit contact while still allowing to retain clients and do the work you enjoy in a setting you generally enjoy.You may also want to use this as a time to open communications rather than closing them. After its all over and would not seem you were trying to create problems during the investigation, consider asking to meet with the director and openly express how hurt, angry and slandered you felt when you found out about her efforts to catch you doing something wrong.

You could say that you want to keep working there because your clients are important to you, but you also want to feel assured that you don’t have to watch your back all the time. You could then say, “What can we do to put things back to a better situation?” Or, “How can I be sure I won’t be embarrassed like this again?” Or just, “Do you have any thoughts about the situation?” She probably will tell you she thinks she did the right thing, based on what she was observing.  But, at least it will get the two of you talking together again. Or, it will be a warning to her that you will call her on her unfounded accusations. Keep in mind also that the spa director will probably feel humiliated and as though she is viewed negatively, if HR questions her about how she handled this. So, that may keep her from similar actions in the future. She may have learned a lot from this experience. And, you may find you prefer to simply come back to work and act as though this foolish accusation of hers never happened.

The big issue now is to wait and see what HR does. Perhaps you could ask them if they have ideas for how you could limit interactions.Or, you can decide it’s too embarrassing, irritating and awkward to keep working there, so you find another salon. I wish there was a magic solution for this, but there is not. The best thing for right now is to wait for the HR investigation or for an indicator of how they are going to handle it.As a final thought, there might be a temptation to talk about this a lot with the hotel director, who was accused along with you.

But, spending far too much time in close conversation will probably just lend credence to her accusations. Keep your interactions with him limited, to avoid the appearance of wrong doing. Hopefully very soon the error of her suspicions will be obvious and you will be shown to be a good employee who was falsely accused.Best wishes to you with this. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe read more

Falsely Accused of Urinating Outside at Work!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a false accusation:

Myself and other employees have been accused of urinating out the back garden of our workplace by a neighbor. We know this is not true because there is a toilet on site.The police are involved in this matter and it was reported to our managers on Monday. I only found out about this situation today. They say the police will be on site to take a statement, but I would like to know what to do in the meantime, since I don’t like to be accused of something I haven’t done. I would like to sort this problem out ASAP.

Signed, Not Guilty

Dear Not Guilty:

Your best action is to make your statement to the police and state adamantly that you did not ever, ever, EVER do such a thing. There is no way to prove that you did, I presume, unless there are photos. This isn’t worthy of DNA testing, so I expect that will be the end of it. You don’t know that the others didn’t urinate outside, only that you didn’t. The fact that there is a toilet on site is not going to be a great argument, since some men will do what they need to with a portable toilet right next to them! So, all you can say is that you didn’t do it. Probably the neighbor doesn’t know who the men were, just that it was some men. I can imagine his or her upset over it, however. So, the complaint was made and the easiest thing to do is to interview everyone–including you.

I doubt that the neighbor made this up, so one or more of your coworkers is acting all innocent but is actually lying. At least this will probably stop them from doing it again!No one has accused YOU specifically it seems. In fact, it seems that no one has been specifically accused. All that is happening is that everyone will be interviewed about it and you will probably be asked if you’ve ever seen anyone do that. Just state the truth without volunteering a bunch more information than they ask. I don’t think you need to spend the money on legal advice for this matter, but that is something for you to consider if you think there will be some criminal charges made if there is proof you did it. (You say you didn’t, so that shouldn’t be a problem.) Best wishes to you with this. If you have the time and wish to do so, we’d certainly like to know how this works out.

Tina Lewis Rowe read more

Falsely Accused Of Using A Coworker’s Computer

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about accusation:

I was asked by my boss if I had been in a coworker’s computer. Of course my response was no. She asked “Are you sure?”. I responded by asking “How could I? I do not know or have access to her password and why would I?”She said a coworker called our IT dept requesting a change in her password because she thought I or someone had been in her computer. Do not know if the coworker asked about me specifically of if the IT dept told her it was I. Either way someone has obviously accused me of being the culprit, otherwise why would my boss ask?My boss said the IT dept told this coworker this was grounds for termination. Should I write a formal request to my boss, my boss’s boss or to the HR dept requesting documentation of this breach in security? I would like to clear my name and reputation. I am devastated my boss would even think I would do such a thing. What should I do?

Signed, Hurt and Confused

Dear Hurt and Confused:

Your boss was not wrong to ask you about it, since apparently she had been contacted by IT about it. She would have been wrong to not at least talk to you about it if that was the case. The problem is that apparently IT didn’t have proof of anything and was just on a fishing expedition–or was just quoting what they had been told by your coworker.

Should you ask for documentation of this breach of security? That’s not your place to request it, because it isn’t your security that has been breached, it’s the company’s. But what you can ask for is an investigation of the matter so your name can be cleared. You can send the request to your manager or to IT or HR, according to which seems the most appropriate.You should be calm and courteous about it, but you can say that you feel hurt and upset over the accusation and you want to make sure everyone knows you did not use the computer of another employee for any reason. They may not agree to investigate it, but the fact that you asked would be a good thing.That brings us to your coworker. If you had a good relationship with her I doubt she would have accused you. So, that may have led to this anyway.

If you can do so, talk to her and tell her that you’re concerned and want her to know you didn’t use her computer and are asking for an investigation. You may at least find out upon what she based her remarks.Or, you may find out she didn’t accuse you. Perhaps IT said it had to be someone nearby. Or, perhaps IT had some evidence you don’t know about.

The bottom line is that your boss was correct to ask you, but you’ll be correct to ask that it not just stop there. Find a way to get this cleared up. If you can’t, you’ll have to put it behind you and move forward. It may be difficult at first. But, it could be your manager and others will feel badly about accusing you and will appreciate your positive reaction.You know your own situation, so you know how you will need to proceed with all of this. I think you’ll be glad you asked for a better resolution than just for it to fade away. Best wishes to you with it. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe read more

Falsely Accused By Trainee

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being corrected: I had to correct a mistake she made started behaving very defensively. She has lied about pinching and slapping my arm.

I have a trainee at my job who at first was willing to listen and learn things, but as soon as I had to correct a mistake she made started behaving very defensively. She has lied about pinching and slapping my arm. Once she fell onto me injuring my neck and arm. She denied that. She frequently lies about things and I don’t know how to handle this problem. She also argues about everything I say to her. How should I handle this?

Signed, Frustrated Trainer

Dear Frustrated Trainer:

You don’t say what kind of work setting you are in, but surely there is someone around the area when these things happen. Also, your message implies your managers have believed her stories, which says they think YOU have lied. So, it seems to me there is much more for you to deal with here than the trainee’s actions.

Consider some of the following ideas and see if you can adapt them to your situation:

1. Write a memo to your own supervisor in which you express your concerns about how this trainee is behaving and how the training experience is working out. Emphasize prior successful training you have done, if that is the case. Say that you want to be able to train people, but this situation is ineffective. I think it would be good to say that particularly concerns you is that she is not learning well and you don’t want to be considered responsible for that. At some point I would think you would want to find out how your manager feels about your truthfulness in all of this!If there is someone responsible for overall training, maybe that person can be a resource or assistance as well.

2. You might want to ask your supervisor to audit some of the training to see if you are teaching in the way they want, and to see if the trainee approaches it differently when a boss is around.

3. You’ve already had bad experiences, but you may want to start into a new phase of your relationship with your trainee and say that you want to start over with a better understanding of how you are going to treat each other: You will treat her with dignity and respect and not talk down to her. She can ask for clarification of your instructions or she can ask how to do something, but she can’t show her anger and she can never, never pinch you, hit you or do anything else of a physical nature to show her displeasure or frustration. Make your conversation serious and businesslike, then get back focused on training.

4. If she ever slaps or pinches you again, immediately get up and go to a supervisor and tell him or her what happened. It would seem to me that you could avoid that kind of physical contact by being alert for it and stopping her, but if that’s not possible at least report it immediately.

5. If you can do so without being penalized, ask if you can be assigned someone else and let this person go to another trainer. I hope those thoughts will be helpful to you. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe read more

False Accusation of Theft

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about accusation of theft:

Someone came to my house at 12 at night and said to my security man to let him in as i have robbed him of 3 lakhs rupees and not reporting to work for 3 months now….this happened yesterday.do i need to be worried? what should i do? is this some kind of personal rivalry or professional? pls help!

Signed, No Trespassing

Dear No Trespassing:

Sorry. I haven’t responded because I am unclear about what really was going on. My advice is to consult an attorney and learn if you should report this to your police. Incidentally, your life is beautiful email address reveals that you must have a positive attitude.

William Gorden read more