Wrong For Verbally Defending Myself?

Question:

A coworker put his hands on me and I said that I was going to call a family member on him. We both got fired. Were they right for firing me???

Signed,

Upset at Injustice


Answer:

DearĀ Upset at Injustice:

It sounds as though there was more going on than just a short event, and the totality of the circumstances was considered when the decision was made to fire both you and the other person.

Often when there is a serious workplace conflict both people are disciplined or fired because there is a feeling that one or both could prevent it or have gotten assistance for dealing with it. When there is a flare-up managers become concerned about how either of the employees will handle similar conflicts in the future, so they opt to dismiss both people.

That’s why we always suggest that employees immediately contact their managers if it appears a serious conflict is developing, so they can ask for assistance or at least document their efforts to resolve the problem.

I’m sorry about this unfortunate situation for both of you, but probably the other employees could see perspectives from both sides and so could managers, and that is why the actions were taken.

Best wishes in a better place for you in the future. Often these things help people find work environments that are less problematic!

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.