Having someone make accusations against you at work can be a highly distressing experience. You walk into the office one morning, and suddenly, your whole career feels like it is collapsing around your ears. Worse still, some accusations can carry criminal penalties affecting your entire life. Fortunately, if someone has made an accusation against you, there are things you can do. For instance:-
Here Are 6 Things You Can Do If Someone Makes An Accusation Against You At Work:
1. Keep Your Cool
Try not to react in a way that could harm your reputation or standing in a particular case. Instead, keep your cool. If you can’t do that, retreat to a place where you can be alone, or talk to a trusted confidante outside of work.
2. Don’t Approach The Accuser
After you hear about an accusation, don’t approach the accuser. Ensure that you maintain a good distance from them at all times. Don’t go to their office, and certainly don’t “try to get to the bottom of the problem.” Instead, inform senior people of the situation and your third-party support network, if you have one.
3. Find Out The Nature Of The Accusation
Some accusations are personal or professional. These can put your job or relationship with a colleague at risk, but they can’t put you in jail.
However, as Sitkoff & Hanrahan, LLP, points out, other accusations are of crimes, and they can lead to criminal charges. Theft or embezzlement of company funds, for instance, is a serious crime and requires specialist assistance.
4. Find Witnesses
The next step is to seek out witnesses who can report what happened during the incident in question to other people in your organization. Often, they can take a neutral perspective and tell people precisely what happened.
If you know someone was there when the event took place, tell your senior manager and get them to interview them. Also, if it turns into a criminal investigation or goes to a tribunal, inform the investigating officers.
5. Get A Lawyer Involved
In some cases, you may need to get a lawyer involved. While this step might seem drastic, it is critical you ensure that you avoid making procedural mistakes that any prosecution could make against you. In many cases, legal advisers will suggest you refrain from going to work until you settle the matter.
6. Find Out What Your Company Policy Is
Another thing you can do is find out what your company policy is when accused of a certain action. Firms vary considerably in this regard. Some operate an on-the-spot dismissal, while others will suspend you during the investigation and then make a decision on your future at a later date.
Ideally, you want to find out what the penalties are, or whether the charges against you are valid. It may turn out that you were acting within company guidelines but a colleague wasn’t aware of how they operate.
In summary, being accused of wrongdoing at work can be a scary experience. However, there are numerous ways you can defend yourself, hiring legal help when necessary. Make sure you step back from work immediately after an accusation is made formally to avoid contaminating your case or saying something later used against you.